BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It wasn't a ribbon cutting, but a christening at the new Community Sailing Center. People who helped bring the state of the art facility to Burlington's waterfront where given a chance to smash a bottle of champagne to celebrate its opening.
Ashley Sullivan was there in honor of her dad, Raymond P. Sullivan, after whom the education center is named.
"Ray was a sailor, an adventurer who always believed in the endless possibilities that lie ahead. His motto, 'You haven't sailed until you run a ground,' is Ray simply saying you never know what you can accomplish in this life unless you tried," Sullivan said.
"Our hope is very simple -- that generations of children of families of adults will play here. They will learn to love, embrace and care for this beautiful lake and they will hold it as theirs for their entire lifetime," said Karen Marshall, a member of the center's board.
The late philanthropist Tony Pomerleau also donated money for the $5.7 million project. The official opening is this Saturday.
AN INSIDE LOOK AT THE NEW BURLINGTON COMMUNITY SAILING CENTER
Sailing center officials say The new building is a place for the community to come and enjoy activities on Lake Champlain.
“We are here for the community,” said Owen Milne, the center's Executive Director.
After 24 years of serving the public, the Sailing Center has a new place to call home. This $5.7 million dollar space is a big improvement from what they had. The last space they used was next door in the Moran Plant, something they said was makeshift facility. With the opening of this new building, they have a lot to celebrate.
They plan to use the space to host different programs like the floating classroom. It allows Burlington students a chance to learn science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and they get to learn on the waters of Lake Champlain.
“STEM education is built into play space curriculum, so that kids don’t just sit in a classroom all day,” Milne said.
They say the new space offers something for everyone. They have 150 watercraft to rent including kayaks, sailboats, and paddle boards.
“A really important thing for people to know is that we are public, nonprofit and here for the community. We are not a membership-based program, you don't have to own a sail boat to come take advantage of it,” Milne said.
From now until mid-June rental hours will be on the weekends from 10 - 6. After mid-June they will be open throughout the week with longer hours.
Activities for the grand opening start at on Saturday June 2nd at 10 a.m.