Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for the New Charles F. Murphy Early Childhood Development Center in Coney Island, Brooklyn, Replacing Center Destroyed by Hurricane Sandy
Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction for the future Catholic Charities Charles F. Murphy Early Childhood Development Center, to be located at 2856-2860 West 15th Street, between Neptune and Mermaid Avenues. Construction of the new Center will be completed in the spring of 2017.
As Coney Island continues to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the new childcare center will be an important symbol of the neighborhood’s resilience and will to survive. The future Catholic Charities Coney Island Head Start Center replaces one destroyed by the storm. The new facility will provide high-quality early childhood development services to low-income households with children ages 3 to 5 years old. These services will allow parents living in Coney Island to seek gainful employment, knowing their children are in good hands, and help them to build greater financial independence and family stability.
Funded primarily through Hurricane Sandy Relief grant funds provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Head Start (OHS), the new center will replace the Catholic Charities Madeleine Jones Head Start Center, operated by Catholic Charities since 1979, which was badly damaged and shut down soon after the storm. The residual damage of Sandy flooding included a layer of 1-2 feet of sand and debris, and very quickly, a growing mold problem in many Coney Island structures, including the Madeleine Jones Center. Catholic Charities assessed the Madeleine Jones site immediately after the storm and promptly closed the center in November 2012, temporarily relocating services to a Catholic Charities Head Start program in a neighboring community. In August 2013, Catholic Charities officially ended services at the temporary center.
The new facility (rendering pictured below) will feature a 17,000 SF, 3-story steel-reinforced building with a defensible ground level to protect against future flooding. The ground level will contain a kitchen, a multi-purpose room, and various administrative and utility spaces. The second and third floors will feature five classrooms and miscellaneous office areas. There will be outdoor play space on the roofs of the first and second floors with direct access from classrooms. The total lot size is 9,505 SF, and the lot coverage ratio is approximately 67%.
The facility will be named after Board Member, Charles F. Murphy. Mr. Murphy is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of New York operations for Turner Construction Company, and is responsible for overall leadership and management of all business activities of the New York office. He oversees a staff of over 900 and a 2015 budget of $2.3 billion in construction. He has been responsible for some of the largest construction projects in New York City, including Yankee Stadium, New York University’s Langone Medical Center and 2 World Trade Center.
According to Msgr. Alfred LoPinto, Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Charities, “Charlie is deeply committed to the work of Catholic Charities, serving on the Board of Trustees for many years, and supporting all of our fundraising activities.I am so happy that this building will now proudly bear his name.”