City Breaks Ground on Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center in Staten Island

Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On February 23, 2024, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) Commissioner Sue Donoghue broke ground on the new $92 million Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center in Tompkinsville, Staten Island.

The groundbreaking is an important one as it is the first groundbreaking for a recreation center on Staten Island in over fourteen years. The Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center will further Mayor Adams’ “Staten Island North Shore Action Plan” to invest in the North Shore of Staten Island.

The center has been named in memory of NYC Parks Chief of Recreation for Staten Island Mary Cali Dalton. Dalton began working at NYC Parks in 1999 and quickly climbed the ranks to borough director of recreation in 2002. Her mantra was to “be in charge of the magic” and this sentiment will be carried on through the new recreation center.

The center will be 45,000 square feet and offer sports courts, four electric vehicle charging stations, an indoor-outdoor running track, fitness, cardio rooms and more. It will sit adjacent to the former Cromwell Recreation Center and will be located at 1 Hannah Street, along the waterfront in Tompkinsville.

Mayor Adams said, “For too long, Staten Island has been neglected and ignored, but this administration is changing that. From opening part of Freshkills Park to expanding the Staten Island Compost Facility, and now, building a recreational center here for the first time in 14 years, we’re delivering on our vision for a better Staten Island. The Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center will be a community hub where Staten Islanders can learn, play, and enjoy public space together, and it is a fitting tribute to Mary Cali Dalton, a leader who understood the power of parks and public space. Our administration looks forward to continuing to invest in Staten Island — whether through parks, jobs, housing, or quality of life improvements — and delivering for all of the borough’s residents.”

NYC Parks Commissioner Donoghue said, “This center will be a gem of the Parks system, offering North Shore residents a variety of recreational amenities and a wealth of programming right in their own community. This marks the second recent groundbreaking for new recreation center construction under Mayor Adams, reinforcing this administration’s commitment to increasing equitable access to green space and park facilities. We’re thrilled that the facility will feature solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations, and also that the design build process employed for this project will allow it to be completed two years faster than usual.”

DDC Commissioner Foley said, “The current parking lot next to Lyon’s Pool will be transformed into a wonderful recreation center that will include sport courts, multi-purpose areas, fitness equipment, and other amenities for the people of Staten Island to enjoy. This center is not only a great step forward for recreation in the borough, but also a huge step forward for the city’s capital program and for the administration’s efforts to improve capital project delivery. The Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center is one of the city’s first Design-Build projects. With Design-Build, we expect this project to be completed by the end of next year, saving two full years. This project emphasizes the need to reform DDC as a new state authority, so we can bring these much-needed facilities to communities sooner and at lower cost.”

By: Meg Beauregard (Meg is the CityLaw intern, and a New York Law School student, Class of 2024).

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Design and Construction, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: “Mayor Adams, DDC, NYC Parks Break Ground on $92 Million Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center on Staten Island” (Feb. 23, 2024).


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