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.
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.
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.