Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center

Sponsored by
Visit Buffalo Geothermal LLC Website

Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center by Buffalo Geothermal LLC

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center, founded by Gary P. Hall of Lewiston NY, is designed to accommodate a wide range of sports and activities to get and keep kids active throughout the entire year through an 21,600 square-foot, 40 feet high, multiuse indoor sports and education facility, which provides a location for collaborative activity among community groups not-for-profit organizations.

Gary Hall wanted “The Niagara” to be sustainable from an operational cost perspective, but also from an environmental perspective. Energy efficiency and the lack of emissions were important considerations, especially since it is meant to support the development of children into the leaders of tomorrow.

Buffalo Geothermal was commissioned to design build the space conditioning system, and we agreed to build the system at cost and donate our own labor.

The Geothermal system consists of 6 forced air heat pumps totaling 34 tons of capacity. In order to reduce the upfront costs, a horizontal slinky loop field was installed underneath the parking lot and the surrounding driveways, which is unusual for a geothermal system of this size. Temperature sensors in each wall are directing the air flow to the areas needed to maintain temperature and humidity levels. A remote control system allows temperature adjustments for different activities. The enormous size of the building dictated that different loop fields support different areas of the building, for both reduced upfront costs, and reduced pumping power. Variable speed pumping technology is automatically reducing the pumping power when fewer heat pumps are operating.

Due to it’s mission and it’s sustainability “The Niagara” was supported by one of the biggest name in sports, the late Buffalo Bills founder Ralph C. Wilson Jr, with a $1 million grant from it’s foundation. In honor of that gift it is now called the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Niagara Community Center.