Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center second Parks ‘Design-Build’ project 

NYC Parks and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) are proud to announce the design completion for the new, to-be-constructed Shirley Chisholm Recreation Center planned for East  Flatbush, Brooklyn. This brand-new recreation center will include an indoor pool and public plaza, and serve as a hub for fitness, learning, and recreation.   

“Shirley Chisholm was a trailblazer and remains a Flatbush icon – we’re proud to honor her legacy by opening a brand new, state-of-the-art recreation center in the neighborhood she served,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “This center will serve as a hub for all of Central Brooklyn and bring resources and recreation space for a diverse range of activities to an area previously lacking a dedicated recreation center. Thank you to the Office of the Mayor for helping us make a more equitable city a reality.” 

“This project honoring New York City hero Shirley Chisholm also serves as a showcase for how the City can build large projects faster and more efficiently,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley. “The new recreation center is part of DDC’s growing design-build program, and as a result of bringing designers and builders together working as one team we will build this project two full years faster than we could have under the old lowest bidder contracting method, where designers and builders don’t innovate together and are often in conflict. We’re entering a new and exciting era of City construction when we’re actually going to get stuff done much faster and more efficiently, including infrastructure projects, though further reforms are needed.” 

Located in Nostrand Playground, the new facility will be approximately 62,000 square feet. Upon its completion, the state-of the art recreation center will offer a host of programming options and amenities to encourage learning, recreation, fitness, and community for Brooklynites. The center’s features will include multipurpose rooms; a gymnasium and walking track; an indoor swimming pool; fitness, strength, and cardio rooms; and a teaching kitchen. The recreation center will also have a green roof and be LEED Gold certified.  

The ‘Design-Build’ project delivery approach offers several advantages over the traditional design-bid-build delivery model that the City has historically been required to use, including best value selection rather than low-bid as well as reducing project costs, sequencing of design and construction work, durations and improving coordination between designers and builders. DDC and several other City agencies, including Parks, received permission from the State of New York in December 2019 to begin using design-build for a variety of projects. This project will be finished two years faster than with the old lowest bidder design-bid-build contracting method. 

The project was funded in 2021 at $141 million by the Office of the Mayor in partnership with Council Member Farah Louis and supported by Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, and will be completed by the end of 2025. This project also meet’s DDC’s 30% MWBE participation goal.  

The planned recreation center is named for Brooklyn-born politician, and the first African American woman to serve in the United States Congress, Shirley Chisholm. Chisholm was the daughter of Guyanese immigrant parents who rose to political prominence. While serving in Congress, Chisholm was also the first woman and African American to seek the United States presidential nomination. Her contributions to her community and country are reflective of her desire to affect change. 

The center will also include a media lab named in honor of a local businessman with deep community roots, Dr. Roy A. Hastick Sr. A Grenadian emigrant, Dr. Hastick founded the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry and served on several economic development and community boards as an East Flatbush community advocate.