Fordham Crew and Sailing Teams Could Receive New Property from Anonymous Group of Alumni

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Fordham Crew and Sailing Teams Could Receive New Property from Anonymous Group of Alumni

Eliot Schiaparelli, Assistant News Editor

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Fordham’s rowing and sailing teams could get waterfront property to use for a new boathouse and practice space from an anonymous group of alumni. The group has purchased a 1.25 acre property located at 3341 Country Club Rd. in the Bronx with the intent of donating it to the university.

According to PropertyShark, the land sold for $1.5 million.

The stretch of land was previously a private membership beach club. According to The BronxTimes Reporter, it used to have a pier that was damaged in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy, and shut down because the club did not have proper insurance coverage to repair the property. The group of alumni looking into purchasing the land would restore the club’s facilities.

Ted Bonanno, the head men’s and women’s rowing coach, said he hopes his team can start to use the new facilities in the fall of 2020.

“We are in the process of getting the necessary permits to rebuild a pier and put docks in the water so we will have access to the bay,” said Bonanno. “This process will take about six months and then we can begin new construction. It is anticipated we will be able to use this new location next fall.”

According to News 12 The Bronx, Community Board 10 brought up the topic at one of their meetings. All members were in favor of the facilitiy’s construction once a discussion involving parking was settled when a representative of Fordham assured those with concerns that students would be transported to the facility by Ram Van.

Gabriella Guglielmi, FCRH ’21, a member of the women’s rowing team, said her team would benefit greatly from the property.

“We haven’t discussed having our own boathouse in depth with the coaches, however the rumor has been spreading like wildfire among the women’s and men’s teams due to the press it has received,” said Guglielmi. “Having a new waterfront would allow Fordham’s rowing program to expand and explore new avenues.”

The teams currently row at the Harlem Yacht club on City Island where much of their equipment is stored outdoors and on portable racks. Bonanno said the new space will provide indoor storage for the equipment.

“We will also have ample space to store all our equipment, that has been stored both on and off campus,” said Bonanno “In addition, we will have indoor storage for our shells and oars that currently need to be secured outdoors and are subject to weather conditions.”

According to Bob Howe, Fordham’s assistant vice president for communications, the teams need better accommodations and the group of alumni purchasing the property came to Fordham with the offer.

“The teams have facilities needs for practice and competition, which we are trying to accommodate better,” said Howe.

Bonanno agreed that the new space would change the game for Fordham’s rowing team.

“The primary benefit of this new property is it will give us a permanent home and identity for our rowing and sailing programs,” said Bonanno. “Rowing has moved five times during my years as coach and I know sailing has also had to relocate in the past. This is a result of having short term agreements with the organizations that have leased us space within their facilities.”

Johnny Norfleet, head coach for the sailing team, said his team hopes the new facility will build floating docks to store their boats during the season, granting them easy water access.

“We’re very excited at the prospect of moving into a new waterfront facility. The property is a short trip from campus and sits on a prime location in Eastchester Bay that would serve as an excellent practice venue for the team,” said Norfleet.

According to Norfleet, this waterfront facility will hopefully rank amongst some of the best collegiate sailing facilities, and set the team appart apart in attracting talented athletes to the program.

“In short, it will be a huge boost to Fordham Sailing, offering both immediate and long-term benefits to our program,” she said.