‘Falling’ for the Armory

Wreck center: Park Slope armory is empty after $16M rehab
The Brooklyn Paper / Jeff Bachner

The long-delayed recreation center at the Park Slope Armory won’t be fully running until September, but there will be some school and camp use before that, according to representatives from the Prospect Park YMCA.

As The Brooklyn Paper reported in February, the city and the Y have nearly come to terms on a contract that would allow for a soft opening in May — just in time for the vast space on Eighth Avenue between 14th and 15th streets to be available for recreation-starved schools at the tail end of the school year.

“We have no gym — we use our courtyard,” said Cynthia Holton, principal of PS 107, which is excited about getting inside the building one block south.

During the spring and summer, the Y will open the Armory to neighbors in order to drum up members, who will start paying to use the fitness center in September.

“We’re going to provide community access to give people a chance to use the facility,” said Prospect Park YMCA Executive Director Sean Andrews.

The timing couldn’t come quick enough. In 2007, the city completed a $16-million renovation of the vast 114-year-old building, but it’s been unused since then.

It wasn’t until last March that the city chose the Y, whose main building is on Ninth Street, to operate the 15,000-square-foot rec center and it will only be in the coming weeks that the Bloomberg Administration formally hands over the keys to the castle.

“We want our Armory open,” said Nica Lalli, chair of the Community Board 6 Parks and Recreation Committee, which heard a presentation from Andrews last Wednesday. “To have it sit empty for over a year is maddening.”