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Mayor de Blasio, NYC Parks, Elected Officials and Community Members Preview $141 Million State-of-the-Art Recreation Center Named for Shirley Chisholm Coming to East Flatbush

November 16, 2021

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New recreation center to feature indoor pool, multi-purpose rooms and media lab named for East Flatbush business leader Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr.

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff today joined Department of Design and Construction Acting Commissioner Thomas J. Foley, New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, City Council Member Farah Louis, and community members to preview the planned programming elements and amenities for the brand-new Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center coming to East Flatbush.

"Shirley Chisholm understood that power comes from the people," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Today we're honoring this trailblazing Congresswoman with a new community center that will serve the residents of East Flatbush for generations to come."

"As we look to the future of New York City, we must honor our roots by celebrating the trailblazers who have made today's progress possible," said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. "Shirley Chisholm was a Brooklyn-born titan who, despite constant discrimination, led a movement that changed the face of our nation. It is an honor to celebrate her legacy by uplifting the residents of Central Brooklyn and, specifically, East Flatbush community."

"Shirley Chisholm's history making achievements blew open the doors of opportunity for millions of women and people of color across the country. Now, we honor her legacy with a project that will strengthen the Central Brooklyn communities she served for so many decades, the forthcoming Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center," said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. "We are proud to make good on a promise to East Flatbush and bring a much needed and well deserved community hub to the heart of this neighborhood. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for providing the vision for a more equitable city, to our partners at the Department of Design and Construction who are managing this project for us, and of course, Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn and City Council Member Farah Louis. The amenities and programs offered here will help build community, families, and provide new opportunities for all people in this neighborhood."

"We're honored to be part of a project that celebrates the great civil rights icon Shirley Chisholm while bringing much-needed recreation opportunities to the community," said NYC Department of Design and Construction Acting Commissioner Thomas J. Foley. "The team of designers and builders that the City selects for this project will be contractually obligated to complete the new Center by the end of 2025, a two-year reduction in the standard timeline for a City capital project of this size thanks to the use of the design-build method of construction management. We look forward to bringing the advantages of design-build to more and more City projects."

"It's time for East Flatbush to get the incredible community center it has long deserved. The Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center, named for our borough's truly visionary leaders, will foster the next generation of leaders through their use of this empowering space. My administration is proud to have invested in this meaningful project, in partnership with City Hall and our local elected officials, that will be central to making this community a safer and greater place to raise healthy children and families," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

"The Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center, featuring the Dr. Roy Hastick media lab, will be the new hub of community activity and engagement for central Brooklyn. And, as we commemorate these trailblazers, let's also work to make sure their ideals live on, beginning by encouraging contractors who are underrepresented in their fields to apply to become part of the team that is designing and building this project," said Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte-Hermelyn. "In the spirit of equity, we must encourage MWBEs, and operate workforce development programs that uplift the whole community. At the new recreation center, youth and seniors alike will benefit from the range of activities available to them without having to leave their neighborhoods. I thank the Mayor, Council Member Farah Louis, and all who made this recreation center possible."

"The Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center is a dream come true for so many of us who were raised and still live in this community. It is symbolic of what we can achieve when we unify, and work collaboratively towards a common good. This Center means so much to so many people who never thought this day would come, and I am proud to have worked alongside my constituents, colleagues in government, and City agencies to help move this project one step closer to breaking ground. It is befitting to honor the legacies of Shirley Chisholm and Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr., two icons, who fought so hard for equity and representation as people of color and of immigrant descent. This Center will serve as a beacon and inspiration for our youth that they can dream big and nothing is impossible if they believe in themselves and know that this community will always stand behind them," said Council Member Farah N. Louis.

The planned recreation center is named for Brooklyn-born politician, and the first African American woman to serve in Congress, Shirley Chisholm. Chisholm, was the daughter of immigrant parents from Guyana who rose to political prominence. Serving in Congress, Chisholm was the first woman and African American to seek the nomination for president of the United States from one of the two major political parties. Her contributions to her community and country are reflective of her desire to affect change.

Upon its completion, the state-of the art recreation center will offer a host of programming offerings and amenities to encourage learning, recreation, and community and civic engagement. The center's features will include multipurpose rooms, a gymnasium, walking track, indoor swimming pool, fitness, strength, and cardio rooms, and a teaching kitchen. The center will also include a media lab named in honor of a local businessman with deep community roots, Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr. A Grenadian emigrant, Dr. Hastick founded the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry and served on a number of economic development and community boards to advocate on behalf of the East Flatbush community.

The project is a part of DDC's new Design-Build program for public buildings. The contract award is expected in Spring 2022 with project completion by the end of 2025; a two-year reduction in the standard City project timeline thanks to Design-Build.

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