A New Home For The Girls Club

DSC_0553Meredith Hoffman The actress Rosario Dawson leads members of the Lower Eastside Girls Club in a cheer at a ground-breaking ceremony Friday for the club’s new home.
DSC_0617Meredith HoffmanMs. Dawson spoke at the ceremony (top) before joking around with some of the club’s members. She was joined by local elected officials, including City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez.

Dave Pentecost’s eyes gleamed as he pointed up at the steel and wood building frame being constructed over East Eighth Street near Avenue D.

“That’s where the 30-foot high dome of the planetarium will rise,” said Mr. Pentecost, the technology director for The Lower Eastside Girls Club. During a brief tour, Mr. Pentecost described the green features of the $26 million, 12-story building that would soon fill the muddy construction site, from green roofs to solar panels, which would produce electricity for the site, to water collectors which would water the gardens holding a sculpture created by neighbor, the artist Kiki Smith.

In addition to 78 units of mixed-use housing, this will be the future home of The Lower Eastside Girls Club. The Norwegian maples which had filled the lot had been cut on site and made into lumber which would eventually serve as tables in the conference room. Mr. Pentecost is looking forward to seeing a ‘58 Airstream trailer soon hoisted into place and converted into a state of the art recording studio where local girls would learn recording technology.

The ground-breaking ceremony Friday was graced with a parade of politicians and dignitaries including Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Rosie Mendez, Borough President Scott Stringer. The loudest applause greeted actress and neighborhood celebrity Rosario Dawson as she excitedly told how she looked forward to working in The Girls Club library.

DSC_0558Meredith Hoffman Members of the Girls Club at Friday’s ceremony.