Sections

More delays — yes, more — for Slope’s armory rec center

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

The Park Slope Armory — the long-delayed recreation center for local public schools — has missed yet another deadline and did not open in time for the first day of classes on Wednesday, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

The 114-year-old former arsenal on Eighth Avenue was gorgeously renovated by the city at a cost of $16 million in 2007 with the intention of serving as a gym for the adjacent PS 107 and as a community recreation center, but it has sat idle amid contractual squabbles and bureaucratic red tape ever since.

And all the while, officials have promised that the opening date was right around the corner.

“I hope it’ll be open by 2012,” groaned Angela Helland, who was walking with her toddler outside the center on Tuesday. Helland said she was especially disappointed by the latest delay because she moved across the street from the block-long armory last year in anticipation of its opening.

Helland has ample reason for frustration. After all, the ribbon cutting that celebrated a deal between the city and the Prospect Park YMCA to run the facility was 17 months ago. At the time, the programs were slated to begin this spring.

But the promise of spring turned into summer and then into the first day of school today with still no rec center on the block between 14th and 15th streets.

This time, the delay is a strictly a construction and permit issue, said Thomas Sylvester, the director of the YMCA’s armory project.

“We’re ready to go … as soon as the [construction work is fully] completed,” he said.

Some classrooms and bathrooms remain unfinished, he added.

YMCA Executive Director Sean Andrews blamed the Department of Homeless Services, which has been in charge of the construction, despite its slightly different mission of caring for those without shelter.

“We are working with them, but, at the end of the day, we are waiting for them to hand over the building and permits to us,” Andrews said.

Andrews now believes that an opening in mid-fall seems achievable — after a long continuum of delays in the project’s disastrous history of contract negotiations and now, the hand over process.

A Department of Homeless Services spokeswoman said the agency could not provide a comment in time for The Brooklyn Paper’s frantic deadline.

The rec center, which will also serve other public schools, teens and adults with a full-size soccer field, a track, classrooms and other facilities, is especially needed by PS 107, which is one block away and has seen its cement play area cut in half because of the second facade renovation in as many years.

The school has neither a gym nor an auditorium.

“We need the armory more than ever,” said Cynthia Holton, the principal, pointing at that truncated schoolyard where 475 students will get fresh air tomorrow.

“This is my gym. This is where we do about everything,” she added.

Holton is anticipating more delays.

“In the winter, I’ll tell my parents to dress their kids warm,” she shrugged.

Updated 6:21 pm, September 10, 2009
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Jason from Park Slope says:
OY! Another delay? I've been waiting outside the doors since 2005.

Does anyone know if you'll be able to buy a membership from the Y to go to the armory? I'm excited about running on the track.
Sept. 9, 2009, 4:06 pm
jay from p slope says:
Hey city council people, there is an election coming, want my vote? Get these clowns moving and get this thing open.
Sept. 9, 2009, 5:31 pm
jj from Slope says:
Bloomberg you suck.
Sept. 10, 2009, 5:32 pm
Marcos Crespo from Park Slope Brooklyn says:
I just wanted to inform you of a great place in Park Slope, Brroklyn. That's MCS Specialized Private Fitness a personal Training facility that has been helping the community since they opened their doors in 2004. They were the first Personal Training Facility in Park Slope and it looks like they started a TREND. Most of us in the community really would like to show our appeciation for the fine work that they have done in helping Park Slope and it's neighboring communities to become Healthy. If there's anything that your paper can do to help our community to show appreciation that would be great!!

Thank you.
Apreciated FAN
Sept. 11, 2009, 9:36 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

MetroPlus Roosevelt Savings Bank Coney Island Hospital Brookdale VillageCareMax

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter:

Optional: