The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today celebrated a ribbon cutting at the Raymond V. Ingersoll Community Center at 177 Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn's Fort Greene.
The Ingersoll Community Center is a new two-story 18,000 sq. ft. community center that will serve residents from Raymond V. Ingersoll and Walt Whitman Houses and residents from the surrounding communities. The Center will be a valuable addition to the vibrant Fort Greene neighborhood that encompasses not only the stability of public housing, but the arts, education and a wide host of social services. The Center is open Monday through Saturday.
The new center replaces an existing one-story concrete building that was demolished on the site so that the building could be built on the existing foundation. In addition, the building was expanded eastward to make room for a full court basketball gymnasium. The center was designed in house by NYCHA's Office of Design.
The first floor contains 6,000 sq. ft. of facilities including: office space for the Resident Association, Center Staff Office, Dinning Area with commercial style kitchen, Lobby, Restrooms, Game Room and a 6,000 sq ft Basketball Gymnasium. The second floor is an additional 6,000 sq. ft. of facilities including: Computer Room, Library, Arts and Craft, a Classroom and a Lounge Area which overlooks the gymnasium.
The facility greatly expanded the existing community center's function with the standard NYCHA program of a gymnasium, cafeteria, multi-purpose space, and classrooms. The design of the facility also enhances the surrounding community with a new rectilinear brick glazed design in a visible location fronting on a widely used street, that seamlessly integrates the housing developments with the surrounding area.
“This is a proud moment for NYCHA and for everyone living in Fort Greene, especially those residents of Ingersoll and Whitman Houses,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “This is a state-of-the art facility that will be a place for having fun and for learning. That's a winning combination. I'm sure that as you walk through the Center you'll quickly realize that it was worth the wait,” Rhea added.
The Ingersoll Community center was one of several in-house designed centers that were designed to replace existing, inadequate community center facilities, typically in small basement locations, at large key NYCHA developments. Some of the signature design elements are a radiant heated basement gym floor, second story library with skylight, cur ved glass block enclosed cafeteria, and exterior dry garden places. The center was able to be built on the footprint of the existing facility's foundation, enabling savings in construction costs.
The project was constructed at a cost of $7,079,323.
“We are thrilled to join forces with NYCHA to provide New York City families with the high-quality afterschool and adult programming they deserve,” said DYCD Commissioner Jeanne B. Mullgrav. “The state-of-the-art Raymond V. Ingersoll Community Center is the perfect showcase for the comprehensive services we are providing to residents of Fort Greene, in cooperation with our non-profit colleagues.”
Cultural programs at the Center include Arts & Crafts (Tuesday - Thursday); Boys To Men Forum (Saturday); Dance (Wednesday); Fashion Drawing/Sewing (Tuesday - Thursday).
Educational programs include Homework Help (Monday - Friday) and Tutoring (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).
Recreational Programs cover board games (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday); group games (Monday, Wednesday); open recreation (Friday); ping pong/billiards/air hockey (Monday - Saturday), and video game madness (Monday - Saturday).
Meals at the Center include dinner and a snack (Monday - Friday) and lunch and a snack (Saturday).