Al Oerter Recreation Center in Queens, NY | Photo via Al Oerter Recreation Center Website
NEW YORK – The first phase of recreation center reopenings begun with 13 centers opened to existing members on June 14. Two more will reopen on Wednesday, June 23. However, the centers will only be open initially, to members of the facilities as of March 2020 to ensure proper social distancing and prevent overcrowding.
“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,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “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, expressed his excitement over the beginning of the process of reopening 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,” he said.
NYC PARKS RECREATION CENTER REOPENINGS
June 14, 2021: 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),
June 23, 2021: McCarren (BK), and Ocean Breeze (SI).
As a precaution due to COVID-19, several new policies are being implemented to keep recreation members safe. The reopened centers will operate at reduced capacity, and mask wearing is required for all. Recreation center equipment has been arranged to promote social distancing and shared equipment will be cleaned frequently. Indoor pools remain closed to the public at this time.
Parks recreation centers were closed in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, recreation centers were repurposed in support of COVID-19 related services including youth education and childcare services, COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and mask and food distribution hubs.
Since 1910, the NYC Parks has provided the most affordable and extensive network of recreational services throughout New York City. Parks’ 36 recreation centers offer facilities such as indoor pools, weight rooms, basketball courts, and dance studios, art studios, game rooms, and libraries. All recreation centers also offer a range of programs for people of all ages.
Hours of operation vary. The public is advised to visit Parks’ Recreation Center page for more information at nycgovparks.org/facilities/recreationcenters. (JD/PDM)