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After being closed since the pandemic, the Houston Street Center has finally reopened its swimming pool and conference center.
It’s big news since the city’s Parks Department currently operates only two recreation center pools south of 42nd Street. So the affordable pool at the Houston Street Center, at 273 Bowery, at E. Houston Street, is a key community asset.
Meanwhile, the center’s community conference center is also back in full swing, offering affordable space for meetings, events, creative rehearsals and indoor athletics. The center can accommodate up to 150 people in seated classrooms, plus more in one of the program’s two basketball courts.
“If you can dream it, we can probably find a space for you to do it, at an affordable rate,” said Adam Blackman, director of the Houston Street Center, University Settlement.
Melissa Aase, C.E.O. of University Settlement, said, “Every dollar we make in rental income is invested directly back into community services and programs at Houston Street Center — a social enterprise that directly supports children, youth, families and elders in our neighborhoods. We see sharing this facility with hundreds of community groups as part of our mission, and we want everyone to hear that we’re open for business!”
University Settlement’s Houston Street Center operates 5 distinct programs serving the entire community:
- Senior HeART, a health and wellness program building an “age-friendly” community, engaging adults 50+ with physical activities, creative expression, and peer support.
- Our EXCEL program for Youth and Families provides recreational and educational activities for individuals of all abilities, including Dance and fitness classes, computer classes, and Qigong, and meaningful support for families. Everyone can EXCEL with the right support and nurturing! This group also uses the pool.
- SONYC Stride After-School is a free after-school program for NYC public school students in grades 6-8, offering homework help, test prep, STEM skills development, basketball, swimming, cooking, creative writing, and civic engagement, and STRIDE to College offers free test prep to 10th and 11th graders and partners with University Settlement’s College Passport program to connect participants to internships, mentorship, and college application support.
- Space rentals
- Community Swim programs