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Flying Trapeze Center Set to Swing Into Lower East Side

By Serena Solomon | December 19, 2012 7:17am

LOWER EAST SIDE — Locals could be reaching new heights under a plan to bring a trapeze to a city-run rec center.

The city's Parks Department is looking for a company to run a seasonal indoor trapeze program at the Hamilton Fish Park Recreation Center at Houston and Pitt streets, officials said.

The department issued a request for proposals last week seeking potential operators to offer trapeze classes in the colder months, along with possible trampoline and acrobatic classes. 

"We are continually seeking to broaden and diversify the range of recreational activities available to the public," Philip Abramson, a Parks Department spokesman, wrote in an email. "Trapeze schools operate throughout the country, including a few in New York City, and we believe that an indoor trapeze center inside of a city park would be an attractive amenity for New Yorkers."

Hamilton Fish Park consists of an Olympic-size pool and a wading pool, both outdoors, along with an indoor recreation facility with fitness and game rooms, according to the Parks Department website.

The proposed trapeze center would cover the existing footprint of the swimming pool area, which is currently closed during the winter, according to the request for proposals. 

"The trapeze center will be enclosed by tents or air structures or bubbles," Abramson said, explaining how budding trapeze artists would be kept warm inside inflatable structures similar to those that enclose other sport facilities in the city, such as tennis courts.

The city hopes to launch the trapeze classes by mid-September 2013, running through mid-May 2014, Abramson said.

Classes, prices and an operations plan will all depend on which respondent to the RFP is chosen, Abramson said in the email.

"The setup of the concession, schematics and designs will be proposed by the respondents to the RFP and will ultimately require Parks' approval," he said.

Potential operators have until Jan. 18 to respond to the request for proposals.