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Gary Laing

Goodbye Grandstands

DAMASCHKE DEMOLITION BEGINS

Goodbye Grandstand

Gary Laing, Oneonta Outlaws owner, says goodbye to the Damaschke Field grandstand as demolition began this morning. The project, which will take several months, will be completed in several stages; the first, taking out the seats and tearing down the fences, will be finished in a matter of weeks. Laing plans to auction off several of the seats at a later date, and the remaining metal will be recycled.  A new concrete pad will be poured before winter sets in, and come May 1, new seats will be placed 25 feet closer to home plate for the team’s return on May 15. In addition, the boxes and dugouts will be rebuilt, with 40 feet of netting placed over them for safety. Phase II of the project, rebuilding the grandstands, will be completed after additional fundraising, some of which was secured by state Senator Jim Seward, R-Milford. At right, Hunter Cika and Paul Young, Clark Companies, begin the process of tearing out the old seats. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Seward Announces $1 Million In Grants For Damaschke Field

Seward Announces

 $1 Million In Grants

For Damaschke Field

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, announces $1 million in funding for improvements to Damaschke Field, including replacing the grandstand at a press conference this afternoon in front of the historic Oneonta ballpark.  Behind him are Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig and Oneonta Outlaws owner Gary Laing.  “We need to preserve historic features,” said Seward, who brought home a separate $1 million grant in May for Cooperstown’s Doubleday Field.  “We also need to prepare for the future.  Some upgrades are badly needed.”  About 1/3 of the money – it was obtained through  the state’s State and Municipal Facilities Program – will be required to raze the grandstand, whose steel girder are rotting.  Laing said there are a “lot of good ideas” on how to replace it that will be coming into focus in the months ahead.    He called the grant “absolutely incredible.”  A tour of the grandstand followed, including a cramped shower room, which home and visiting teams used to share.  (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
City To Seek Demolition For Damaschke Grandstand
80-YEAR-STRUCTURE CLOSED

Damaschke Grandstand

Heading For Demolition

Common Council last evening approved an application for funding to demolish the 80-year-old Damaschke Field grandstand.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Oneonta Outlaws owner Gary Laing has been concerned for a few years about the safety of seating in the grandstand.

ONEONTA – With Damaschke Field’s box seats condemned and its supports rusting, Common Council voted tonight to apply for a grant to demolish the 80-year-old city landmark.

“It’s a touchy thing, but the building is old and it needs to come down,” said Gary Laing, Oneonta Outlaws owner. “We’ve been talking about it for a few years now, but it’s reached a critical stage.”

“It’s beyond repair,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “It needs to be completely replaced.”

The grandstand was built in 1939 and seats 500. Earlier this season, the entire set of top boxes was condemned by the city. “That’s when it really came to the forefront,” said Laing. “It’s decrepit.”

Laing, Klugo Honored at Future For Oneonta Foundation Awards

Future For Oneonta Foundation

Honors Laing, Klugo At Reception

The properties of Merit Award winners for 2014: from left: Angie Eichler, Chair of the Properties of Merit Committee, James Brady, Paula Hickey, Lorrie Wolverton, Rosleen Brady, Kevin DiBartolemeo, Brian Fawcett, Deb DiBartolemeo, Nancy Kleneiwski, Daryn Seltzer, Barb Jass, Anthony Carimando, Heather Rigona, Tony Pepaj, Dino Rigona, and executive manager of FOF Carol Mahon. The properties of Merit Award winners for 2014: from left: Angie Eichler, Chair of the Properties of Merit Committee, James Brady, Paula Hickey, Lorrie Wolverton, Rosleen Brady, Kevin DiBartolemeo, Brian Fawcett, Deb DiBartolemeo, Nancy Kleniewski, Daryn Seltzer, Barb Jass, Anthony Carimando, Heather Rigona, Tony Pepaj, Dino Rigona, and executive manager of FOF Carol Mahon. (Ian Austin/allotsego.com)
The properties of Merit Award winners for 2014: from left: Angie Eichler, chair of the Properties of Merit Committee, James Brady, Paula Hickey, Lorrie Wolverton, Rosleen Brady, Kevin DiBartolemeo, Brian Fawcett, Deb DiBartolemeo, Nancy Kleniewski, Daryn Seltzer, Barb Jass, Anthony Carimando, Heather Rigona, Tony Pepaj, Dino Rigona, and executive manager of FOF Carol Mahon.

 By LIBBY CUDMORE • allotsego.com

Diane Aaronson, Chairperson of the FOF Board, embraces Gary Laing after awarding him the Community Leadership award for his work and variety of programming he has brought to Damaschke Field.
Diane Aaronson, FOF board chair, embraces Gary Laing after awarding him the Community Leadership award for his work and variety of programming he has brought to Damaschke Field.

ONEONTA – Gary Laing, owner of the Oneonta Outlaws and The Shipping Room, wasn’t looking for accolades – in fact, he was just looking for a snack. “My son Joshua was playing football and I stopped at Stewart’s to get him a Slim-Jim,” said Laing. “I was pulling out of the parking lot and this woman comes out in front of me. It’s Carol Mahon, and she told me I’d just been selected for the Community Leadership Award!”

Laing, along with the Properties of Merit winners, were honored at the Future for Oneonta Foundation’s annual Community Leadership reception at Foothills earlier this evening. “The Future for Oneonta foundation is positive and uplifting,” said Sen. Jim Seward, who presented Laing with a recognition from the State Senate. “Especially as we honor Gary, a local boy who did well, and best of all, shared his success with his community”

Seward continued, joking, “I mail all my campaign flyers through the Shipping Room, so I feel that I share in his success.”

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