BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY April 21, 2019 10
Parks announces start of Owen Dolen exterior overhaul
BY PATRICK ROCCHIO
The historic building in the
heart of Westchester Square that’s
home to the Owen Dolen Recreation
Center is now closed to the
public as it prepares for a major
rehabilitation of the structure’s
The renovation project began
on Monday, April 8 and continue
approximately 18 months, stated
a NYC Parks Department spokesperson.
Programming at the Owen Dolen
Recreation Center for youth
and adults will cease during the
$2.3 million exterior reconstruction.
The use of the space for
Westchester Square Business Improvement
will also be curtailed during construction,
said Yasmin Cruz, the
BID’s executive director.
“We obviously feel a sadness
that we are going to lose a space
we use for our spring and summer
events,” said Cruz. “It is also a
space that will be lost for the community.”
The BID hopes that it will be
completed sooner rather than
later, said Cruz.
“If there was any alternative
where we could use the space
sooner, it would be extremely benefi
cial, because it is a great loss to
the BID and for the community,”
The youth programing at the
building, located in Owen Dolen
Park at 2551 Westchester Avenue,
will be provided at other nearby
NYC Parks recreation centers.
The displaced programming,
that includes NYC Parks Summer
Camp and general member-based
programming, will be offered at
other park’s facilities that are a
distance from Westchester Square:
St. James Recreation Center in
Fordham, St. Mary’s Recreation
Center in Mott Haven, Williambridge
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Oval in Norwood and Hunts
Point Recreation Center.
The renovation at Owen Dolen’s
century-old building, once home to
the Westchester Square Library,
includes roof replacement, installation
of perforated steel security
screens, renovation of existing
brick openings for new windows
and other work designed to bring
the building in compliance with
the American’s With Disabilities
lso included in the project
will be changes to the building’s
HVAC system, painting, plastering
and other cosmetic work.
Borough President Ruben Diaz
Jr. and the NYC City Council allocated
the funding for the project.
Additionally, $1.3 million will
be used to renovate the windows
and doors on the classic structure.
Sandi Lusk, of the Westchester
Square Zerega Improvement Organization,
said that work on the
building is welcome, despite inconvenience,
because it is necessary
and would make the building
sound for other improvements
“These are things that need to
be done,” she said, referring to the
roofi ng work and waterproofi ng.
“They need to make the building
waterproof and sound before they
can move ahead and do anything
She said that for years Community
Board 10 has made a more
functional recreation center one
of its budget priorities, and fi xing
the outside of the building is the
fi rst step in improving the space
The 18-month renovation at the building in heart of Westchester Square restores
roofi ng, and includes façade and brick work. Schneps Media / Patrick Rocchio
The Owen Dolen Recreation Center is
undergoing an 18 month renovation.
Schneps Media / Patrick Rocchio