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Some news and a preview of the plans for the McCarren Pool this Monday:

The NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation and architects Rogers & Marvel will be publicly sharing plans for McCarren Park Pool at the Parks Committee meeting of the Community Board:

Monday, February 4th
6:30 PM The Lady of the Snow Society
410 Graham Ave. (btwn Withers & Jackson Sts.) Brooklyn

There will be a second presentation to the full Community Board and we encourage your feedback:

Wednesday, February 13th
6:30 PM Swinging Sixties Seniors Center
211 Ainslie Avenue (btwn Graham & Manhattan) Brooklyn

The Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA) is grateful for Mayor Bloomberg’s $50 million allocation to fund long held community goals expressed by Community Board #1 for the renovation of the McCarren Park Pool. These goals include:

* renovating McCarren Park Pool for swimming,
* creating a year-round recreation center, and
* preserving and restoring the historic bathhouse building and entry arch.

The NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, with the assistance of Community Board 1, and OSA hosted two local design charrettes to obtain additional information about the community’s programming and design requests, and balanced against budget considerations. Several hundred people attended these sessions and their comments were incorporated into the creation of a survey prepared and conducted by Partnership for Parks.

To provide the greatest opportunity for broad community feedback, the survey was distributed through multiple channels: Partnership for Parks did in person clip board surveying at different times, in different locations (at McCarren Park’s track field and at a concert, plus twice at McGolrick Park); the survey was distributed by OSA to more than 50 local community groups for further distribution to their membership; the survey was printed in two local papers (Greenpoint Star and Greenpoint Gazette ) to be returned by mail; the survey was left at drop boxes at several neighborhood locations; it was available on the websites of The Parks Dept. and OSA and the links were further picked up by many blogs. In consideration of the diversity of the neighborhoods, the survey was made available in Polish and Spanish. In addition to the feedback from several hundred attendees of the two charrettes, 1,665 surveys were collected.

The survey results show strong support for re-opening the pool for swimming and also, within certain demographics, for the concert and film programming that has been provided at the pool on an interim basis. The Parks Dept. and OSA value the cultural contribution provided by the film, dance and concert performances. We are also sensitive to the related noise complaints from neighboring residences, and we are seeking an accommodation for both perspectives. We are thoroughly examining all possible options, both temporary and permanent, to provide an appropriate location within the neighborhood for large-scale performances for 2009 and beyond.

In the meantime, pool construction will be bid out, and will start in late 2008. McCarren Park Pool will continue to be used as a performance venue during the summer of 2008. In addition to the concerts of the past years, OSA would like to encourage greater diversity of programming for the coming 2008 summer. If your business would like to contribute towards bringing the philharmonic or opera to McCarren Park Pool for our community, please contact

Please also note that in addition to McCarren Park Pool, which has a capacity of about 6,000 people, we have several other park locations that are very inexpensive to host events and more appropriate for smaller audiences, where we would welcome having new local programming, whether dance performance, theater, entertainment for children, etc.

The Parks Dept., OSA and Community Board #1 look forward to reviewing the architects’ drawings of the pool with you February 4th and February 13th. After waiting many years for the pool renovations, we are appreciative of this opportunity, and look forward to the community working together co-operatively to see this dream realized.

The complete survey results can be reviewed here:

Look forward to swimming and splashing in the Pool with you in 2011!

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