Thursday, May 17th, Dattner Architects joined Stanley Commons LLC, Kretchmer Companies, ELH Management, Galaxy General Contracting, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Assembly Member Charles Barron, Council Member Inez Barron, and partnering community leaders for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Stanley Commons Development and Community Center, aka Prince Joshua Avitto Community Center.
Operated by the non-profit organization, Good Shepherd Services, and Man Up!, a community-based social services organization, the two-story, 20,750 square foot Prince Joshua Avitto Community Center is named in honor of a six-year-old local boy who was killed in 2014. This new state-of-the-art community center will serve over 1,000 East New York youth and families annually and offers after-school and summer day programs, a mentoring program, and college access programming as well as a college-sized gymnasium, multipurpose rooms, a full kitchen, computer lab, sound booth, game room, and offices.
A central, open staircase connects the center’s lobby and multipurpose game room on the ground floor with the main classrooms on the second floor. The wide public corridor at the second floor is configured to wrap the double-height gymnasium and incorporates glazing that looks onto the gymnasium below. Windows are provided at various heights and widths to invite a sense of play and provides areas for different sized groups to informally gather and engage. This visual connectivity between the participants echoes the primary design elements of the residential buildings – with the expressed and open staircases enabling connections both within and without.
Prince Joshua Avitto Community Center will also offer services to families transitioning from homelessness to permanent housing, and will house Single Stop – a non-profit organization providing resources, including legal assistance and counseling, to families and recent immigrants.
Stanley Commons is the result of a partnership between the NYC Housing Authority, NYC Department of Housing Preservation, and a private development team. This development offers affordable rental opportunities and helps knit together the urban context of this growing East New York neighborhood. Providing 240 affordable apartments across seven low- and mid-rise buildings, the development’s green spaces, intimate private streets, and expressed vertical circulation elements create a safe and welcoming atmosphere for residents, including formerly homeless veterans who now have a place to call home.
During this ribbon cutting ceremony, Mayor Bill de Blasio reflected on the opening of the new facility and its meaning to the community.
“Here is a great example of a lot of people stepping up to honor this family, to honor this community, to do something that would make a change, to do something for the hundreds and thousands of young children today and in the future, for the Prince Joshua’s we will get to know, the young people who will be here and will be our future who will experience this. This will be the environment they learn and grow in, that they will enjoy, they will feel empowered by.” – Mayor Bill de Blasio
We are proud to design spaces that help create a safe space for youth, families, and communities to engage and live independently.