TOWN OF WALLKILL, NY — The Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years to make it to the promised land, stacking 12 rocks, per God’s command, to celebrate God’s parting of the Jordan River to allow their entrance.
Brothers Greg and Mark Jaloszynski of 12th Rock Ministries hope they’ll get to stack 12 stones in the future 12th Rock Sports Complex’s lobby a mere (by comparison) 24 years after Greg Jaloszynski envisioned the complex.
Greg Jaloszynski, 45, first imagined an indoor sports complex – a safe space where youth can learn the value of hard work and integrity – when he graduated from Eastern Nazarene College 22 years ago in 1997.
Now, he and Mark hope they’re just two more years from opening a $12 million, 115,000-square-foot facility, with an indoor track, and basketball and volleyball courts, on 14 acres in the Town of Wallkill behind Middletown’s Maple Hill Elementary School.
Their goal, contingent on fundraising, is to break ground in spring 2020 and open in fall 2021. Already, the Jaloszynskis have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy and improve their Town of Wallkill site, which hosts high school and college track and field athletes and archers.
They agreed to buy the property in October 2015, and closed on the sale in July 2017, following Town of Wallkill planning board approval for their plan. So, can the Pine Bush graduates now raise millions more to build an indoor facility on the former dairy farm?
“I have supreme confidence they’re going to get it done,” said Bill Fioravanti, Orange County’s economic development director. “The Jaloszynski family has a long history of serving, and of having a commitment to the local community and to a higher power.”
The Jaloszynskis’ father, Rev. Leo Jaloszynski, was well-known for community service, long leading Circleville Evangelical Presbyterian Church before retiring to North Carolina. (Greg is part-time pastor at Grace Community Church, which has several local locations.)
Until eight years ago, Greg, of Middletown, and Mark Jaloszynski, 42, of Bloomingburg, were landscape designers and builders. But they pivoted in 2011, founding 12th Rock Ministries, a Middletown nonprofit that partners with local schools, community organizations and churches to offer sports programs.
“This (12th Rock complex) is being built for the next generation because the next generation needs to learn about faith and character and integrity, and we’re using sports to do that,” Greg Jaloszynski said.
Fioravanti said the project has big potential in the “burgeoning sector” of athletic instruction and training. He thinks 12th Rock’s facility, the Hudson Sports Complex in Warwick, which is undergoing $80 million in upgrades, and another proposed Town of Wallkill sports complex will serve different constituencies.
Hudson Sports Complex already hosts several sports, but it specializes in soccer instruction, and its owners, Christian Fuchs and Raluca Gold-Fuchs, want to eventually host a European professional club’s training camp.
Across the Town of Wallkill at the Blue Sky Polo Club grounds on Bart Bull Road, a group of developers, including Fred Dana of Dana Distributors, Charles Elmes Jr. and Joseph Belsito, have proposed the Blue Sky Sports Complex. That $2.1 million project could have a baseball emphasis, Fioravanti said.
The planned 12th Rock complex is designed for a 200-meter indoor track with eight sprint lanes; multiple areas for throwing and jumping; seating for 1,200; and four collegiate-size basketball courts that can be modified to accommodate eight volleyball courts. A mezzanine level would include film and fitness rooms and space for offices and classrooms.
The mid-Hudson badly needs that sort of indoor track, said former Manhattan College head track coach Dan Mecca, a Village of Florida resident, who currently coaches for Team USA and Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Currently, 34 schools with indoor track programs in New York’s Section 9 – which includes Orange, Ulster and Sullivan counties, plus part of Dutchess County – rely on West Point for an indoor track.
“At first, I thought this was a dream,” said Mecca of the 12th Rock project. Given how far the Jaloszynskis have come, “Now, I think it’s something that’s feasible. It’s one of the best things that could happen to the area, from helping high school kids to senior citizens with a Silver Sneakers program.”
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