City to Reopen 13 Recreation Centers Starting June 14

The Lost Battalion Hall Recreation Center in Rego Park, Queens, is one of 13 recreation centers set to reopen on June 14th. Image Credit: Google Maps

A total of fifteen centers will reopen by the end of June. On Monday, June 14, 2021, the NYC Parks Department will reopen thirteen recreation centers to existing members. Parks recreation centers have been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Parks Department operates 36 recreation centers citywide, which offer a variety of programs, activities and classes for all ages. Recreation centers include weight rooms, basketball courts, indoor pools, dance studios, libraries, game rooms, art studios and other services. Throughout the course of the pandemic, these recreation centers were repurposed to support COVID-19 response efforts like testing and vaccination sites, mask and food distribution spots, and youth education and childcare services. 

The Parks Department is beginning a slow reopening of its recreation centers, starting with thirteen across the city. To help ensure social distancing, centers will reopen at reduced capacity and will be limited to people who were existing members in March 2020, when the centers first closed. Masks will be required, and indoor pools will remain closed for now. Recreation equipment has been rearranged to help maintain social distancing. Shared equipment will be cleaned frequently. 

On June 14th, the following recreation centers will reopen: Hunts Point (BX), Brownsville (BK), Hansborough (MN), Alfred E. Smith (MN), Highbridge (MN), Rec Center 54 (MN), Thomas Jefferson (MN), Tony Dapolito (MN), Al Oerter (QN), Lost Battalion Hall (QN), Greenbelt (SI), Lyons (SI), Faber (SI). On June 23rd, an additional two centers will reopen at McCarren (BK) and Ocean Breeze (SI). 

For more information about recreation center hours, check here

Mayor Bill de Blasio stated, “Recreation centers sit at the heart of so many communities, providing New Yorkers of all ages the chance to participate in athletics and a variety of other programming. As we take these steps to reopen safely, I encourage everyone who isn’t vaccinated already to get their shot today.”

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP stated, “As our city continues to take great strides in recovering and reopening, we are thrilled to begin the process of reopening our recreation centers for New Yorkers to enjoy. While we are excited to begin reopening our centers, we urge everyone to get vaccinated and continue to follow mask and social distancing guidance, so that we may fully emerge, together, from this pandemic.” 

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)


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