Brown pushes E. Suffolk Complex

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2005

City Councilman Charles F. Brown said Wednesday the East Suffolk area is in dire need of a planned recreation center, and he hopes the city has the &uot;guts&uot; to do what it says in regard to the project.

Brown’s remarks came at city council’s work session after a presentation on the East Suffolk Recreation Complex by Gerry Jones, director

of capital

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program management.

The project calls for converting the former East Suffolk High School and two adjacent buildings, which have been vacant for 30 years, into a recreation complex.

Jones said the first phase of the complex will cost $3.7 million and will include space for boys and girls clubs, administrative offices, a conference room, game rooms, teen lounge, arts and crafts room, classroom, computer room, multipurpose room/cafeteria, kitchen and a 6,000 square-foot gym. The first phase will be 14,000 square feet total.

Phase one should be completed by April 2007 and with construction expected to get under way in March 2006.

The second phase of the project calls for a 60,000 square foot recreation center to include an aquatic center.

Brown praised the project and said it will rejuvenate an important part of the city.

&uot;The area’s in dire need of that facility,&uot; Brown said. &uot;It’s also in dire need of part 2 also, so I’m hoping that this council will stay focused and not go on a tangent as we’ve done in the past…If we say something, I hope we have the guts to do what we tell the community we are going to do.&uot;

He asked Jones to keep the East Suffolk Alumni Association updated because members have been actively involved in the project.