FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT MARSHALL BREAK GROUND ON $55 MILLION POOL AND ICE SKATING COMPLEX IN FLUSHING MEADOWS CORONA PARK
Complex Will Include Special Features to Accommodate People With Disabilities
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Executive Director Matthew P. Sapolin to break ground on a new pool and ice skating complex in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. The $55.2 million project will include an Olympic-sized indoor pool and an NHL regulation-sized skating rink, and will be completed by Fall 2007. The site, which will be utilized by schools, leagues, and community members of all ages, will be Parks & Recreation’s first in Queens. The complex includes a number of special features to allow for recreation activities designed for the physically disabled.
“Making the City more livable has been a priority from day one, and today we finally break ground on a long-promised and long-overdue project for the people of Queens,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The local community has wanted to build a new pool here for a very long time and I’m pleased that we’ve been able to get this complex project underway. It is important that we build and maintain these kinds of facilities throughout the City especially in growing areas like Flushing. They strengthen our neighborhoods and provide New York City residents with quality venues for recreational activity. I am particularly pleased we were able to incorporate special features at both the rink and pool to accommodate people with disabilities. I want to express my gratitude to Borough President Marshall, Commissioner Benepe and Executive Director Sapolin for their work on this tremendous project.”
“My office has allocated $14.5 million for this recreational complex because it will literally help to build sound bodies and better futures for so many of our residents,” said Queens Borough President Marshall. “This pool and skating rink will not only provide exciting and attractive venues for swimming, hockey and ice skating enthusiasts, but also add to our flagship park’s reputation as a magnet for fun lovers of all ages. Our parks are oases in urban environments, and, as such, require our commitment to their maintenance and improvement.”
“Few things are more important than providing quality sports and recreation facilities for the city’s residents,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Thanks to generous funding from elected officials and a supremely talented creative team, we continue to build innovative structures in all five boroughs. This new sports complex will introduce generations of children to the joys of swimming, skating, and hockey; and to lifetimes of fitness and health.”
The pool will measure 25 by 50 meters and will include a diving tank with a three-meter board and two one-meter boards. An outdoor seating area will flank the pool. The ice rink venue will measure 80 by 200 feet and include 400 bleacher seats. The entire complex will span more than 100,000 square feet, with an exterior of pre-cast concrete panels with an extensive use of glass panels that will allow natural light into the entire pool area. The building’s shape and design allude to the World’s Fair pavilions in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in both 1939 and 1964. Other aspects of the design, including a “floating canopy” and tension wires holding up the roof, allude to the movement of athletes. During the planning phase of the project, the City engaged the Mayor’s Office of People with Disabilities and the United Spinal Association to review of the facility and implemented their suggestions to ensure it would best accommodate people with disabilities.
“The Flushing pool will be furnished with lift equipment providing recreational swimming for people with disabilities, and the accessible ice-rink will allow them to play sled hockey,” said Executive Director Matthew Sapolin. “We have enjoyed working with EDC, Parks and the design team to make this facility accessible to all New Yorkers, and it will be a wonderful addition to our many sports facilities here in Queens.”
“Making the City a better place to live is an important component of our economic development strategy,” said Economic Development Corporation Andrew M. Alper. “We are making a number of strategic investments in Flushing to revitalize the area and catalyze further development. This new, state-of-the-art facility will be a tremendous asset for Flushing residents for years to come.”
The design was a collaboration effort between Handel Architects, LLP and Hom & Goldman Architects, two renowned firms known for such high-profile projects as the World Trade Center Site Memorial and Ritz-Carlton Downtown (Handel) and renovations to the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Seward Park branch of the New York Public Library (Hom & Goldman). Landscape architecture was prepared by Semmens Associates.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park’s current ice skating facility, located in the same building as the Queens Museum, is more than 60 years old. Once the new structure is completed, the old rink will be removed and the museum will expand into the space. The City allocated $40.7 million for the new facility; Borough President Marshall set aside $14.5 million.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks & Recreation)
Michael Sherman/Andrew Brent (Economic Development Corp.)
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