Mod-Pac and Nardin team up to create a community athletic space.
When you’re running a successful business that was founded in 1881 and boasts a more than 135-year history in your hometown, “paying it forward” to the community becomes just as much a part of the company mission as providing quality goods and service. That’s why, after Mod-Pac President and CEO Dan Keane’s daughters enrolled at Nardin Academy, the Keanes immersed themselves in the Nardin family, becoming familiar with the needs, vision and dreams of the school and looking for ways to help. The perfect opportunity presented itself when their older daughter joined the Nardin squash team. The team was forced to hold practices off campus and during early morning hours due to lack of appropriate facilities.
“Dan came to us with a proposal to develop an athletic facility for our school,” says Nardin Academy President Marsha Joy Sullivan. “But his larger vision was to create a multi-use facility within the city that would be utilized by the community as well, and that’s just what we did.”
Mod-Pac paid to have a portion of its 600,000-square-foot building – located about two miles from Nardin – demolished to make way for the new facility (demolition proved to be a more cost-effective option than retrofitting the existing building). Mod-Pac then significantly funded the construction of the new building; Nardin raised the funds to build out the interior.
Today, at 30,000 square feet, the Nardin Academy Athletic Center takes up approximately one-quarter acre of the 10- acre Mod-Pac site. It houses seven international squash courts (larger than many college facilities) and an indoor turf field that is one quarter the size of a regulation soccer field and accommodates indoor practice for many activities, including: soccer, baseball, softball, lacrosse, and field hockey. The facility is utilized by other area school athletic teams, Delaware Soccer Club, 716 Squash and community residents, who can purchase memberships, join recreational leagues and take squash lessons.
“This shared-use model is the first private school project in Western New York that truly benefits the entire community,” says Sullivan. “A program run by 716 Squash utilizes squash as the draw to engage city school students in after-school and summer programs, where they can receive academic tutoring as they learn to play the game.
“There are more than 20,000 school-age children who are considered to be ‘underserved,’ in that they attend schools with limited to no athletic facilities,” says Sullivan. “By sharing Nardin’s good fortune – and thanks to Mod-Pac’s generosity - we are able to utilize this facility to serve new communities and children, which is a large part of our mission.”
“The goal with this project was to support the educational and athletic needs of future generations of our community,” says Keane. “Nardin supported that goal and, together, we’ve created a world-class facility in the heart of Buffalo for all to enjoy.”
Mod-Pac generously supports many non-profit organizations and groups throughout Western New York.