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Councilman Secures $2.5 Million to Save Popular Bed-Stuy Pool

By Camille Bautista | April 10, 2015 7:01pm | Updated on April 13, 2015 8:23am
 Councilman Robert Cornegy secured $2.5 million in capital funding to save the public pool at Jesse Owens Playground.
Councilman Robert Cornegy secured $2.5 million in capital funding to save the public pool at Jesse Owens Playground.
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Department of Parks and Recreation

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — A Jesse Owens Playground will receive a new and improved pool thanks to funding set aside by a local councilman.

Councilman Robert Cornegy secured $2.5 million to save the popular swimming pool, officials said.  

The four-foot-deep public amenity was in danger of being shut down due to lack of funding for proposed improvements from the city’s Parks Department.

During a March meeting, city officials unveiled plans to renovate the park and presented an option that completely eliminated the pool.

The current facility is in disrepair and not wheelchair-accessible, according to the Parks Department. The city’s $4.6 million allocated for upgrades to the 2.3-acre park would not cover construction to the pool.

“Local residents, Community Board 3 and the leaders of the adjacent schools made it very clear that a renovated Jesse Owens playground without a pool might have been beautiful but would not have provided the same recreational and health benefits to the community,” Cornegy said in a statement.

The additional capital funds from the councilman allows for a larger swimming facility as well as new handball courts and a synthetic turf area with a walking track, according to Martin Maher, Brooklyn Chief of Staff for the Parks Department.

Jesse Owens is the only playground in the community’s eastern end that has a pool on its premises.

Community residents applauded the announced preservation at CB3’s meeting this month.

“It is important that we maintain our playgrounds and parks and provide our community with active living options,” said CB3 Chair Tremaine Wright.

The playground is one of 35 sites the city is planning to redo as part of the $130 million Community Parks Initiative.

Locals can provide input for the park’s design at the board’s Parks, Arts & Culture meeting on May 6. The committee will meet at the CB3 office, 1360 Fulton St., at 6:30 p.m.