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Three months behind schedule, the renovated athletic facility in the Park Slope Armory is expected to open its doors in November, an official there said this week.
“Right now we are entirely focussed on opening the facility,” said Sean Andrews, the executive director of the Prospect Park Y, which will operate the revamped facility.
Andrews told this paper that the city has been working to revamp eight classrooms in the facility, which has caused the delay.
“On our end, everything is in place, and we feel the city is making a strong effort to finish up the remaining items in the building, including construction and permitting. There is a lot of work and activity taking place,” he said.
The YMCA-run, $16 million center was expected to open earlier this fall, but it became clear that would not be the case, since the renovation of 20,000 feet of classroom space was not completed yet. The bulk of the work inside the 100,000 square foot armory has been complete for some time, including a state-of-the-art track-and-field center and basketball courts. A host of programs are eventually planned in the classroom space.
Andrews said he understands community frustration about the delay, but that the end result will be an “exciting venue.”
The YMCA was selected last year to operate the recreational portion of the facility through a competitive RFP (Request for Proposals) submitted by the city’s Department of Homeless Services. The agencywill continue to maintain a small women’s shelter in the building, located at 1402 Eighth Ave.
In June, Andrews signed and finalized a 10-year contract with the city.He said primary revenue will come from individual membership fees, which will be $40 a month for adults. The armory will also offer family memberships, as well as fee-based programs such as summer camp and after-school programs. A free membership program for local kids aged 6-18 is also planned. Andrews said no one will be turned away from the facility based on their ability to pay for membership.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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