City of Rochester
(Friday, Dec. 20, 2013) – Mayor Thomas Richards, Mayor-Elect Lovely A. Warren, New York State Assemblyman David F. Gantt, City Department of Recreation and Youth Services Commissioner Luis Burgos and Councilmember Elaine Spaull hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house today to celebrate the completed renovation of the David F. Gantt Community Center. The center, located at 700 North St., is the City’s biggest and busiest Recreation Center and is re-opening after two years of gathering community input, planning and design and 14 months of construction.
“The transformation of the David F. Gantt Community Center, a significant gathering place in the city’s Northeast, represents an important investment in our youth and in the Marketview Heights neighborhood,” said Mayor Richards. “I’m proud that we can offer such high-quality programs and facilities for youth and their families to be active, healthy and to stay engaged in their community.”
The $2.7 million project included $1.8 million in City funding, $600,000 from the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, $150,000 in funding from the Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation and a $100,000 donation from Windstream Communications.
“This is a perfect example of how the City can work with its partners in the private sector to greatly enhance the quality of life in our neighborhoods by providing this wonderful community space and programming,” said Commissioner Burgos. “This outstanding facility brings excellent new educational and recreational resources into the community.”
The new Gantt Center now features a completely redesigned and renovated interior with a full slate of new amenities designed specifically to accommodate and engage residents in a safe and welcoming environment. The complex includes a new commercial kitchen for cooking classes and community events, a music recording studio with soundproof walls, a computer lab, a dedicated teen lounge, expanded and improved meeting space and a family fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment and exercise machines.
One of the more prominent additions to the center interior is the installation of a new photo mosaic mural that is comprised of hundreds of photographs of youth at the Gantt Center. The mural, created by artist Ken Sato, is intended to give youth an enduring sense of ownership and pride in the updated center.
The Center hosts numerous programs including organized sports leagues, the Earth Explorers environmental education program and the innovative RocMusic program, designed to engage children and their families in the experience of making and appreciating music, under the guidance and instruction of Eastman School of Music graduates.
The facility first opened in 1973 as the “North Street Community Center.” Since then it has undergone several renovations including the 2009 installation of a water spray park and outdoor play areas. In 2010, the center was rededicated and renamed in recognition of New York State Assemblyman David F. Gantt, for his advocacy for and contributions to our city.
The Gantt Center will re-open to the public on Monday, Jan. 6, to allow for staff training on the new equipment and functions of the center.
News Media: For further information, please contact Department of Recreation and Youth Services Commissioner, Luis Burgos at 428-6755.