Haitian American legislators Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte and Councilwoman Farah N. Louis on Monday applauded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement that a new recreation center will be built at Nostrand Playground in Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“For the people of Flatbush, the new community recreation center at the Nostrand Playground will serve as a center for economic growth and youth development,” said Bichotte, who represents the 42nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. “The large Haitian and Caribbean-American community in Brooklyn has been adversely and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted racial disparities in our neighborhood.
“This investment in our community and in future generations is a crucial step toward reducing those disparities,” added Bichotte, who is also chair of the Brooklyn Democratic Party. “I thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner (Mitchell) Silver for seeing this project through.”
Louis, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn, said: “Our youth, families and seniors have waited with much anticipation for a safe space that they can call their own – a hub for learning, recreation, community and civic engagement.
“This state-of-the-art recreation center will be a beacon of inspiration and innovation, where people of all ages and backgrounds can connect and prosper with expanded access to much-needed resources in a centralized location,” she said. “Our youth have been met with extraordinary challenges, life-altering and traumatic experiences that no child should ever have to encounter.
“This center is how we Occupy the Block, this is how we stop the shooting and save lives, by taking this critical step forward,” Louis continued. “My predecessor, former Council Member and current Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams brought this idea to life, and I am proud to build upon this framework and carry it across the finish line together.
“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and NYC Parks Commissioner Silver for working in partnership with my office and the residents of District 45 to formally announce a new recreation center at Nostrand Playground in East Flatbush,” she said.
The mayor said that the recreation center will include an indoor pool and kitchen for cooking classes, using capital funding shifted from the New York Police Department (NYPD) to Parks in the Fiscal Year 2021 Adopted Budget.
He said the new recreation center will also include a two-lane painted track, and will host fitness, youth and senior programming.
“Our recreation centers are the lifeblood of our communities, providing an engaging sand supportive environment for all New Yorkers,” de Blasio said. “The new Nostrand Playground in Flatbush will be a safe haven for Central Brooklynites, building on our commitment to create a fairer and safer city for all as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.”
He said the center will be created using the design-build method of construction management, which the city received broad authorization from Albany for in December 2019.
The mayor said design-build brings designers and contractors together as a team at the beginning of a project “leading to greater cooperation and innovation, and is known to reduce the timelines of major projects by up to 18 months.”
“NYC Parks recreation centers are crucial community amenities, providing safe, engaging, and fun activities for all New Yorkers, especially our youth,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Silver. “We are thrilled to add a new recreation center in the heart of Central Brooklyn at Nostrand Playground in Flatbush.
“Thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Farah Louis, and all who have advocated for this new amenity, the new recreation center will have a transformative impact on Brooklynites and all New Yorkers for many years to come,” he added.