Community Leaders Lend Support to School Settlement

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School Sett staff and students join with St. Nicks Alliance leadership in celebration of Sen. Julia Salazar’s support of $500K toward building a new community center. (l to r) Rick Martinez (School Settlement Prog. Dir.), Sen. Julia Salazar, Michael Rochford (St. Nicks Alliance Exec. Dir.), David Fagan (St. Nicks Alliance Board Member), Roberto Serrano (St. Nicks Alliance Assoc. Dir. Youth and Edu.), and Jose Leon (St. Nicks Alliance Dep. Exec. Dir.)
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Assembly Member Maritza Davila has long been a supporter of  School Settlement’s presence in the community.

In July a delegation of St. Nicks Alliance/School Settlement board members, parents and kids met with New York State elected officials in the continuing campaign for a new School Settlement Community Center. These meetings followed the community rally held in late spring. Presentations were made to Senators Julia Salazar and Brian Kavanagh, and Assemblymembers Joseph Lentol and Maritza Davila. St Nicks Alliance Board members Dave Fagan and Kim Gabriel joined with SSA parents and children to express the importance of rebuilding the Settlement House for the next generation of kids and families. They were thrilled to hear that Senator Salazar, Assemblyman Lentol and Assemblywoman Davila, had each secured $500K in NYS capital funds towards the new facility, making good on their spring pledge.

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Sen. Brian Kavanagh meets with the St. Nicks Alliance delegation. (l to r) Michael Rochford (St. Nicks Alliance Exec. Dir.), Roberto Serrano (St. Nicks Alliance Assoc. Dir. Youth and Edu.), Terje Khanh Edwards, Loan Laminette, Zadig Edwards, Deuce Edwards, Siobhan Edwards, Sen. Brian Kavanagh, David Fagan (St. Nicks Alliance Board Member), and Jose Leon (St. Nicks Alliance Dep. Exec. Dir.)

The $23M SSA Capital Campaign would provide the funds to replace the dilapidated 110-year-old building at 120 Jackson Street with a new state-of-the-art facility comprised of 22,200 square feet over four floors with classrooms, a gym/multipurpose theater room, and specialized education spaces.  The current facility has served over five generations; it’s showing its age and does not comply with today’s disability access requirements and minimum standards for modern youth services. These needed renovations and the lack of nearby school gyms or recreational space galvanized residents and community leaders to propose development of a new facility. Not one of the five surrounding public schools has an indoor gym or theater space.

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 Assembly Member Joseph Lentol was impressed with School Settlement student Skylar Aybar’s (front, 2nd from left) reasons for the need of a new community center. (back row, l to r) Jose Leon (St. Nicks Alliance Dep. Exec. Dir.), David Fagan (St. Nicks Alliance Board Member), Kim Gabriel (St. Nicks Alliance Board Member), Assembly Member Joseph Lentol, and Michael Rochford (St. Nicks Alliance Exec. Dir.).

School Settlement is a century-old institution organized by teachers and civic leaders that seeks to create a positive out-of-school experience for young people and their families.  It is the longest continually operating Settlement House in Brooklyn, and amongst one of the oldest in the nation.  In 2006, St. Nicks Alliance merged with School Settlement to build the organization’s administrative and development capacity.

The NYS legislators funds, in addition to $5M in capital funds from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Antonio Reynoso, puts St. Nicks Alliance Board of Directors and  parents closer to their goal of $23M.  Late last month, St. Nicks Alliance/School Settlement submitted a proposal to the NY State Regional Economic Development Council for additional capital support to supplement direct community donations and St. Nicks Alliance board pledge to donate $1M from Greenpoint campus development developer fee.

Author: The Greenline

Your monthly source for North Brooklyn community news covering Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick. Currently 13,000 copies are distributed throughout the community free of charge.

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