Before she introduced Mayor Bill de Blasio at a construction kick-off event for Marcy Houses’ new community center, young resident Alexis Pender spoke about what she was most looking forward to doing at the center: dancing with friends.
“I’m 11 years old and I love to dance, and for a very long time I didn’t have a place to dance. But now, with this community center, I’ll have a place to dance, my friends will have a place to dance, and we’ll all have a place to dance,” she told the excited audience of fellow residents, community members, and elected officials.
The long-awaited center, scheduled to open in 2019, was made possible thanks to $5 million in funding from City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr., who says he joined the community center cause because of the tireless advocacy of Marcy residents who had been working for almost 20 years to make the center a reality. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the Mayor’s Office each kicked in an additional $1 million.
At the event, Mayor de Blasio spoke about the importance of the center: “The skills that young people develop will make their futures much, much brighter. They’ll be in a safe environment when they’re in this center. And this is not just about a building, it’s not just saying, ‘Okay, Marcy Houses deserved a community center.’ It is about fairness, it’s about opening the door for every child.”