CONEY ISLAND, Brooklyn — Families gathered just outside what used to be the Surfside Gardens Community Center Tuesday morning; many of them want to know when the center will be reopened.
“Can you please speed up the work? The kids need their center back,” said Sanrashia Fee.
Fee lives at the the Surfside Gardens Houses next door. She said she remembers when the entire area was underwater and their community center and playground destroyed, devastated by Superstorm Sandy. The center was a place where kids and seniors had programs.
The New York City Housing Authority is the agency in charge of building it back. Councilmember Mark Treyger says the city has some explaining to do.
“My message to the mayor is, I’m sure the pancakes in New Hampshire are very tasty, but you are still the mayor of NYC - do your job here,” said Treyger.
Treyger says the Federal Emergency Management Agency gave over $60 million to NYCHA to get it done. And families were promised by the city it would be open by the fall of 2017.
“What is their excuse? Other projects NYCHA says they need funding, they have the money, what is their excuse now?” Said Treyger.
On Monday Mayor De Blasio and the interim CEO of NYCHA Kathryn Garcia were asked about the hold up.
“We have identified a provider and we are waiting for them to sign a lease with us so that they can take over the facility,” promised Garcia Monday.
A NYCHA spokesperson says “We are extremely pleased that repairs and renovations to Surfside Community Center are near completion, and we are looking forward to opening the doors for all to enjoy, once the lease is finalized with the community partner.”
The Office of the New York City Comptroller is looking into the issue.
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