BRONX — The Crotona Park Nature Center is set to undergo a $2 million facelift — complete with expanding the center's main room and reinstating the building's original windows and doors, officials said.
Community Board 3 signed off on the move at its May 13 board meeting, unanimously approving a letter in support.
The project would include getting getting rid of the building's drop ceiling and replicating and reinstating the original windows and glazed double-entrance doors, a move meant to fill the building with natural light.
"At the moment, it's very dark because it has no windows," said project architect Campbell Morrison.
Additional renovations include making restrooms ADA compliant, installing new mechanical and electrical systems and increasing the size of the rangers' office. The building will receive a new air conditioning and heating system as well.
The total budget for the project is $2.04 million, according to the Parks Department, with $1.55 million of this coming from the City Council, while the remaining $490,000 will come from a state grant.
The department expects to develop design documents by the end of the year, have the bidding process take place next spring and start construction next fall.
The Nature Center, located on the eastern side of Indian Lake in Crotona Park, opened for full-time use on May 17, 2001, and sponsors and creates activities meant to help children connect with nature.
Bruce Rivera, first vice-chairman of Community Board 3, encouraged those at the meeting to visit Crotona Park if they had not done so lately.
"It had a history of ... decay that was part of the urban landscape that existed in our neighborhood during the 70s and the 80s, and many people have that same image of Crotona Park today," he said.
"But if you have an opportunity, please go and see it. I mean, it's something that is the jewel of the Bronx."