By Carla Zanoni
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The historic High Bridge Recreation Center is close to becoming a year-round attraction after plans to build a permanent pool-deck pavilion beside the public pool were approved.
Every summer when the center's outdoor pool opened, it relied on a community room nearby to use as a changing room — or Splash House — effectively closing it for other community uses.
But the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission voted last week in favor of creating a separate Splash House to be built by the Design Workshop group.
"By constructing Splash House, we’ll be freeing up the indoor recreation space to give permanence to this community center, where abundant youth activities are key to the many children who live in this densely populated New York City neighborhood," organizers said.
The Design Workshop Group is made up of architectural students from Parsons School of Design who voluntarily design and build projects every year for a nonprofit organization.
Community Board 12 voted in favor of the resolution supporting the new pavilion in April, echoing the need for space at the faclity, which was built on Amsterdam Avenue and 173rd Street in 1936.
"Community District 12 has a tremendous need for recreational facilities, especially during evenings and inclement weather when the pool is closed or little used," read the resolution, which called on the landmark commission to approve the plan.
The cost of materials is estimated at less than $75,000, which will be covered by Parsons. Another $150,000 in City capital funds is needed to install new plumbing, according to CB12.
The Design Workshop Group group has so far raised $9,000 of the $15,000 they need by June 1 to receive funding for the project, according to its website.
The group plans to continuing working with the Parks Department and the City Parks Foundation to finalize the project, which is slated for completion in time for next summer’s swim season.