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Boerum Hill Kids Center Moves to Larger Waterfront Space

By Nikhita Venugopal | January 22, 2015 3:33pm
 Beam Center offers workshops and after school sessions for local kids and high school students.
Boerum Hill Kids Center Moves to Sackett Street
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COLUMBIA STREET WATERFRONT DISTRICT — A popular after-school center for kids will move to a larger Brooklyn space next month after outgrowing its Boerum Hill home, the owners said.

Beam Center has hosted workshops for students ages 6 to 18 at its current 47 Bergen St. space since 2012 but plans to move to 60 Sackett St. in the Columbia Street Waterfront District in February, said Brian Cohen, the nonprofit’s co-founder.

The new center is about 3,500 square feet — roughly twice the size of the former space adjoining the Invisible Dog Art Center, Cohen added.

While the Bergen Street center offered a central location for Boerum Hill and Cobble Hill families, “we’ve always been a little bit hindered by the size,” Cohen said.

Some of Beam Center’s after-school programs, such as mechanics, woodshop, metalwork and boat building, require large tools as well as space to store works-in-progress, he said.

The new digs at Van Brunt and Sackett streets will offer more room for the center along with parking for its van, which will be used to shuttle students. The center also plans to expand the weekend programming schedule, Cohen said.

The center's eight- or 16-week workshops, priced at $360 and $720 respectively, will begin the week of Feb. 2 at the new location.

The new space will also help bolster the center’s “BeamWorks” program through which it works with eight city schools to design and engineer large-scale projects that could involve coding, electronics, carpentry and metalwork. 

The programs are held in schools but students often visit the center to work on their projects and use the tools and machinery. The center also hosts professional development sessions for teachers to create their own curriculum-based projects.

“Our hope is that we can use the center as a resource,” Cohen said. “The kids so instantly [can] see the fruits of their design coming to fruition."

Before Beam Center exits its Boerum Hill space, it will host its annual "Inventgenuity Festival," a two-day event with workshops for kids that will explore the theme of “Balance” on Jan. 24 and 25 at 51 Bergen St. To register for the free festival, click here.