The Village of Bellport is dusting off its old shoes and polishing its ball, as the renovated bowling alley in the community center basement is open for business. After completion of a project that has been in the works for over a year, residents will have a bowling alley in their backyard again.
“I think it will be just an outstanding addition to the village,” said mayor Ray Fell.
Just a few months ago, the basement of the community center was just that: a basement. It was dark and dusty and not a place where you’d think of spending a rainy afternoon. But after designer Philip Thomas got his hands on the project, the basement has flipped. It’s now a bright sky blue with a new floor, painted walls and a colorful bowling alley on one side. The floor displays an emblem of a sailboat on top of a checkered blue-and-white design. The bowling alley is a rich golden brown, sandwiched between blue gutters, with a wall of decorative giant pins that surely inspire players to knock them down. Thomas’s designs were inspired by themes seen across the Great South Bay, and much of it ties into Bellport’s waterfront character.
“It’s an uplifting experience when you go down there and see it,” Fell added.
The Bellport Village Program Fund, which put the money together and conducted the construction process, is getting ready to unveil the alley to the community. They’ll host a ceremony on Sunday, May 26 from 4-6 p.m.
The BVPF began demolition in February and were finishing the final touches just this week. The space has more room for programming outside of the bowling alley, as a pool table was removed and other space was opened up. Gold Crown Bowling Service, which specializes in construction and renovation of bowling alleys, fixed the alley and restored it to workable condition. It wasn’t very damaged, but some minor improvements were needed.
The wall that separated the alley from the rest of the basement was removed, and a painted divider was put in its place. There are also lights that line each lane, giving a more star-quality feel to the experience. Behind the alley is a staging area, with room for spare balls and bowling shoes.
“We are so happy to be part of the process that will bring this back to Bellport,” Thomas told the Advance after the initial demolition.