RED HOOK — An exercise room, a new kitchen and an 80-seat multipurpose room are on the way to a newly renovated senior center in Red Hook, more than two years after the former one was badly damaged in Hurricane Sandy.
Last week, officials hosted a community meeting and sought input from local residents on the new center’s design, which also includes a room with 10 computer workstations and a game room for billiards.
The center will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and will get new electrical, air-conditioning and heating systems as well as new toilet and plumbing facilities, according to the project’s community outreach team and R & O Engineers and Architects, both of whom presented the designs to about two dozen residents on Friday.
The bricks on the facade of the building, located at 120 W. Ninth St., will also be repaired and replaced.
Senior citizens who live in Red Hook’s NYCHA development have been waiting for a new space since 2012 after the deadly storm destroyed their 21-year-old center.
Since Sandy, seniors have been using a community room in the Miccio Center, a NYCHA community center that also hosts programs for adults and children, but have expressed frustration over the continued wait for their own space.
The new center will open in late 2015 or early 2016, officials said.
Officials are still looking for additional funding to supply the senior center with equipment, including computers, said Dawn Sanders, the project’s community outreach manager.
Most residents supported the plan, but some asked whether parking spaces near the center could be added.
“I think it’s a good design but they have to add the parking to it,” said Pete Morales, 73, who lives in Red Hook Houses West.
But Tony Addesso, the lead architect on the project, estimated that parking could add roughly two years to the project's timeline because of additional city approvals that would be required.
Jacqueline Smith, 66, cheered and repeatedly said “Hallelujah!” during the presentation.
“I can’t believe it’s happening,” said Smith, who feared the seniors would never see a space for themselves.
“I will cry when I walk through that door.”