Parks Department closes Tony Dapolito Leisure Center in Greenwich Village


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Tony Dapolito Recreation Center has been closed after an ongoing construction project raised concerns, the parks service said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has ignited a $ 9.9 million project, located at 1 Clarkson Street, to renovate the popular recreation center that began in the fall of last year. The premises always remained open to members during the process, which sought to reconstruct and stabilize various sections of the building.

However, the doors were closed on July 16 and will remain locked for the foreseeable future due to “Structural problems” that were discovered during the construction project.

Since then, amNewYork Metro has learned that the more than a century old building was suffering from structural deterioration, which ultimately led the parks department to decide to close the center to the public for safety reasons.

“Although we never wanted to close our recreation centers, we discovered potential structural problems which force us to close Tony Dapolito until further notice. We understand how important this center is to the community and we are focused on performing additional assessments and determining next steps, ”Megan Moriarty, spokesperson for NYC Parks, told amNewYork Metro in a statement.

The Tony Dapolito Recreation Center located at 1 Clarkson Street. Photo by Dean Moses

Built in 1908, the site was a hub for New Yorkers of all ages to exercise, play basketball, swim, and participate in various recreational activities while providing a free membership for 18-year-olds and less, and discounted subscriptions for seniors and IDNYC holders.

Featuring an indoor and outdoor pool, the Tony Dapolito Leisure Center was also a great place to cool off.

With the doors closed again and the swimming pools emptied, some believe the future of the iconic center of Greenwich Village is in a precarious position as members wait for more construction news. However, not all residents are aware of the closure.

Lauren Meyer and her daughter sought to beat the summer heat on July 20 by taking a dip in the centre’s pool, but instead she found locked doors.

The pool at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center has been drained. Photo by Dean Moses

“I had gone to the Parks website and was looking at a few public pools and just wanted to check this one out, but when I got there it was closed,” Meyer said.

After learning the closure was due to structural integrity issues, Meyer said she was happy the Parks Department closed the site until they could resolve the safety concerns, but also admitted that she was a little disappointed.

“It’s disappointing not to have access to this pool this summer, but if it has to close, I understand,” Meyer said.

While the Parks Department promises to keep New Yorkers informed of upcoming information in the coming weeks, they ask that in the meantime members use other area facilities, such as the recreation center. Alfred E. Smith and the Constance Baker Motley Recreation Center, although these locations are still operating with limited hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original construction was tentatively scheduled for completion in March 2022, but it is currently unclear how long, if at all, the necessary structural assessments will delay the project or when the center will re-allow visitors, the department further noted. parks. that their decision to close the building was out of “an abundance of caution”.

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