BED-STUY – For the first time in more than twenty years, residents of the Marcy Houses in Bed-Stuy will have a community center.
Yesterday, Councilmember Robert Cornegy, Borough President Eric Adams and Mayor Bill de Blasio ceremonially broke ground on the site of the $7 million community center.
“This is a great day for the over 4,000 residents who call the Marcy Houses home,” said Cornegy, praising the contributions of late tenants and organizers Rena Ruffin and Sarah Hill.
“[They] knew the importance of having a community center dedicated to programming for seniors, youth, and other residents to improving the quality of life here,” he said.
The process has taken more than three years, since Councilmember Cornegy first approached NYCHA about the possibility of creating a dedicated community space based on constituent requests. An abandoned police station near Marcy and Ellery Avenues was identified as the potential site.
However, the steep price of the construction still loomed. Over the course of two budgeting cycles, Councilmember Cornegy allocated $5 million, while Borough President Adams pledged an additional $1 million.
“Our Marcy Houses community will finally have a center of its own to call home,” said Borough President Adams. “Community centers are vital to creating safer places for raising healthy children and families, and nothing can be more fundamental to the future of this historic public housing development than that mission.”
It was Mayor de Blasio that stepped up last year, pledging the final million to fund the center, which is scheduled to be completed
“For decades, young people here at Marcy needed a place to learn and grow and they did not have it,” said the Mayor. “And we know the extraordinary talent of the young people here in this community.”
“We are turning an abandoned building into a place where no child will ever feel abandoned. That’s what we’re doing here today. And the skills that young people develop will make their future much, much brighter,” he continued. “They’ll be in a safe, nurturing environment when they’re in this center. And this is not just about a building, again, it’s not just saying okay, Marcy Houses deserved a community center. It is about fairness. It’s about opening that door for every child.”
The Marcy Houses in Bed-Stuy consist of 27 buildings that are home to more than 4,000 residents.
Nearby, the recently renovated Marcy Library reopened earlier this year, providing another community gathering space in an often underserved stretch of Brooklyn.