November 6, 2020
Video available at: https://youtu.be/MnVWXEtSu9c
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, City agencies and elected officials today cut the ribbon on the Marcy Houses Community Center in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The new 3,200 square foot center and approx. 1,000 square foot exterior deck, which was made possible with $14 million in capital funding from the Mayor ($4.6 million), Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams ($500,000) and Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr. ($8.9 million), will provide vital programming for both adults and young people through the Department of Youth and Community Development and the nonprofit Grand St. Settlement.
“Now more than ever, community centers provide crucial opportunities for both young people and adults to succeed,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Thanks to the hard work and advocacy of so many, the Marcy Houses Community Center will serve families for generations to come.”
"In order to fulfill our promise of being a borough and a city that is a safe place to raise healthy children and families, neighborhoods need spaces where a young person can come together with their peers to grow their full personhood. My administration is proud that more than $1 million in investment from Brooklyn Borough Hall has helped make our vision for both the Marcy Houses Community Center and Weeksville Heritage Center into a reality. This community center will be a valuable neighborhood asset for years to come, and I look forward to seeing all the meaningful and diverse programming it will offer to our neighbors," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“The Marcy Houses Community Center is a testament to what our community can accomplish when we join together. This community center will provide a new home for the genius of our community to flourish. From music and dance to adult learning programs and workshops, we have a new base to connect, engage, and deliver resources. I am grateful for the public service and the partnership of all those who joined this effort, and saw the merit and the urgency of making this new community center a reality,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr.
“NYCHA’s community centers are the bedrock of our developments, providing indispensable youth, senior, and social services for our residents,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “We are especially thankful to the Mayor’s Office, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmember Robert Cornegy, and Marcy Houses Resident Association President Naomi Colon for all of their hard work in making this possible for the families and adults who are dependent on this critical community space.”
“Marcy Houses has a proud history of working with NYCHA, local community partners, and elected officials to develop neighborhood resources for our children and families,” said Marcy Houses Resident Association President Naomi Colon. “We are excited to continue that tradition through this community center and are grateful to the many people who made this project a reality.”
“What was once an abandoned police precinct is being transformed into a thriving neighborhood resource for residents and neighbors of Marcy Houses. Grand Street Settlement has a stellar track record of offering high quality programming at nine other Cornerstone community centers, and DYCD looks forward to working with them in providing safe, free and engaging opportunities to young people and adults in the Marcy and Bed-Stuy communities,” said DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong.
“I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Robert Cornegy, Jr. and Borough President Eric Adams for allowing DDC to design this versatile new space in-house and to also manage the construction,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “With indoor and outdoor program areas the new energy-efficient Marcy Houses Community Center will be an asset to the community for generations to come.”
"Grand St. Settlement is excited to get to work serving Marcy Houses and the surrounding community. It is clear during these times of social and economic challenges that there is a great need for high-quality youth and family programming in Brooklyn. We're thankful for members of the community like Alexis who saw this need and pushed this project through to completion," said Robert Cordero, Executive Director, Grand St. Settlement.
The Marcy Houses Community Center stands on the site of a former NYCHA Police Service Area and two former apartments. The new entrance is served by an approx. 1,000 square foot outdoor deck. From this entry point, guests will be directed to two offices, two activity rooms, one culinary room and four bathrooms. One of the activity rooms can be cleared for multi-use gathering, while the other will be furnished with desks, chairs and laptops. The activity and culinary rooms are located to maximize the openness of the space while providing flexibility to have distinct spaces that can be closed off for smaller assemblies. The new Center also has several new and upgraded energy efficient and safety systems including LED lighting, appliances and upgraded plumbing as well as new HVAC, fire alarm, telecommunications and security systems.
The Community Center will house a DYCD Cornerstone program run by Grand St. Settlement, a nonprofit that has over 31 sites across the Lower East Side and Brooklyn providing social services to New York City's most vulnerable communities. The program will serve children, young adults, and adults from Marcy Houses. In the coming weeks, Grand St. Settlement will meet with residents of Marcy Houses to select and design safe, socially-distanced in-person activities tailored to the specific needs of the neighborhood.
Cornerstone programs are located at 94 NYCHA Community Centers throughout the five boroughs, providing engaging, high-quality, year-round programs for adults and young people. Typical Cornerstone programming includes academic support, life skills, health, recreation, cultural activities, General Educational Development (GED), English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and workforce development and referrals. In Fiscal Year 2020, Cornerstone programs served more than 25,000 youth and adults, and continue to provide vital remote and in-person services to New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as distribution of food and personal protective equipment.