On December 22, 2022, the Parks Department and the Department of Design and Construction revealed the schematic design for the new Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. The new center will be located in Nostrand Playground on Nostrand Avenue between Foster Avenue and Farragut Place.
The new center will be approximately 62,000 gross square feet and feature multipurpose rooms, a gymnasium and walking track, an indoor pool, fitness, strength and cardio rooms and a teaching kitchen. The building will also have a green roof.
The center will be named after Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman to serve in Congress in 1968. Representative Chisholm, born in Brooklyn, was the first woman and African American politician to seek the nomination for US President in 1972. The center will also feature a media lab named for Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr., who was a prominent local businessman and community advocate.
The facility will be constructed through the design-build approach, where the design and construction services are contracted through a single entity or team, which coordinates the project from the beginning, saving time and money. The approach will save two years off the traditional design-bid-build method.
The project will cost $141 million and was funded by the Mayor’s Office in partnership with Council Member Farah Louis with support by Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. The center is expected to be completed by the end of 2025.
Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue stated, “Shirley Chisholm was a trailblazer and remains a Flatbush icon – we’re proud to honor her legacy by opening a brand new, state-of-the-art recreation center in the neighborhood she served. This center will serve as a hub for all of Central Brooklyn and bring resources and recreation space for a diverse range of activities to an area previously lacking a dedicated recreation center. Thank you to the Office of the Mayor for helping us make a more equitable city a reality.”
DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley stated, “This project honoring New York City hero Shirley Chisholm also serves as a showcase for how the City can build large projects faster and more efficiently. The new recreation center is part of DDC’s growing design-build program, and as a result of bringing designers and builders together working as one team we will build this project two full years faster than we could have under the old lowest bidder contracting method, where designers and builders don’t innovate together and are often in conflict. We’re entering a new and exciting era of City construction when we’re actually going to get stuff done much faster and more efficiently, including infrastructure projects, though further reforms are needed.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)