Development begins on long-awaited Shirley Chisholm Rec Center in East Flatbush

After years of negotiations, a brand new group heart is lastly coming to East Flatbush — and it’ll bear the title of one in every of Brooklyn’s proudest civic leaders, former Brooklyn Congressmember Shirley Chisholm.
Procurement is now formally underway for the $141 million venture, which shall be situated in a 65,000-square-foot facility atop what’s at the moment a turf area on the Nostrand Playground on Farragut Place, between East thirty first and East thirty second streets, subsequent door to PS 269. Completion of the power, which is being funded with capital {dollars} reallocated from the NYPD funds [1] final 12 months, is anticipated in 2025.
The Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center will embody an indoor pool, indoor monitor, a basketball court docket, and a health club the place youngsters can take lessons in disciplines like yoga, spin, and martial arts, in line with one of many heart’s prime boosters, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn.
“Today we start a new chapter for this neighborhood and this borough,” Bichotte Hermelyn mentioned at a Tuesday ceremony celebrating the venture’s liftoff.
It should additionally embody a kitchen the place college students can learn to put together wholesome meals, area for senior programming, and a tech and enterprise incubator named for the late Roy Hastick [2], president of the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and an iconic booster [3] of Brooklyn entrepreneurship and small companies.
“The children of this community…they deserve a world-class facility,” Mayor Invoice de Blasio mentioned on the ceremony. “As good a facility as you will find anywhere in New York City, something for everyone to be proud of. Because that communicates to our young people, when you invest, people can feel it, when our young people see that their city loves them and cares for them and is giving them everything, it says to them they are valued.”

Nostrand Playground, the place the middle shall be constructed.NYC Parks

Chisholm, the primary Black girl elected to Congress and the primary Black girl to run for president, represented Central Brooklyn in the nation’s capital from 1969 to 1983, and burnished a popularity as a fierce advocate for her group and for civil rights. She was the principle pressure behind passing Title IX, which prohibits gender-based discrimination in academic funding, securing a minimal wage for home staff (then, and now, a bunch largely consisting of girls of shade), and was instrumental in making Martin Luther King Jr. Day a federal vacation.
Chisholm’s stature has solely grown since her retirement from politics and her loss of life in 2005, and she or he is now one of the crucial celebrated figures in Brooklyn historical past. In addition to the deliberate rec heart, her title now adorns Shirley Chisholm State Park [4] close to Starrett Metropolis and the Gateway Center, and an enormous, 40-foot statue of the enduring pol on the southern finish of Prospect Park has been in the works for years, although it has blown previous its meant 2020 completion date and its timeline is at the moment unclear [5].

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East Flatbush group members have lengthy sought a rec heart in the neighborhood; the closest Parks Dept rec facilities are the Brownsville Rec Center and the St. John’s Rec Center in Crown Heights, each about three-and-a-half miles away in completely different instructions.
Discussions to construct a rec heart in East Flatbush named for Chisholm kicked off in 2012 underneath then-Councilmember Jumaane Williams, now town’s public advocate and a candidate for governor [6]. The venture formally acquired the inexperienced gentle [7] in 2017, however switched places from its unique deliberate perch at Tilden Playground, a mile-and-a-half away close to the Holy Cross Cemetery, after group members lodged objections to Williams’ successor, incumbent Councilmember Farah Louis.
On Tuesday, the mayor credited Louis’ persistence in demanding a group heart for her district’s youth for getting it funded.
“[Louis] very persistently fought for this, and reminded me wherever I went, even when I did not want to talk about this topic, she made sure that we did talk about this topic,” Hizzoner mentioned with the councilmember at his facet.
Louis mentioned that she hopes the brand new group heart will function a group hub for folks of all the numerous styles and sizes that decision Flatbush house, and notably that it would function a deterrent towards violence or different unlucky paths.
“The impact of this center…will go beyond sports and entertainment,” Louis mentioned. “By building the character of our young people, creating spaces for teamwork and a deeper sense of community. This is how we occupy our blocks. This is how we stop the shooting and save lives.”


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