Newark, NJ –- September 12, 2022— The City of Newark reopened JFK Recreation Center today, after it received its first renovation since the 1980s. The center is located at 211 West Kinney Street in the city’s Central Ward, with the entrance on Howard Street.
The remodeling includes new bathrooms, a new gym entry, new basketball courts, the city’s first indoor running track, boxing ring, technology room, cardio equipment, weight-training equipment, and a community/multi-purpose room.
“The JFK Recreation Center is one of Newark’s greatest public recreation facilities, serving our entire city,” Mayor Baraka said in a statement. “With this remodeling, we will provide Newark with a higher quality of healthy activities and expanded services for the whole community. I want to thank the Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services, the Department of Engineering, and Brahma Construction for bringing this renovation to the finish line.”
The construction company was Brahma Construction Corp. of Wayne, and the cost of the project was $2.9 million.
Former Director of the Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs, and Senior Services Patrick Council oversaw this project before being elected South Ward Council Member. “I am excited that we are able to restore a place of value back to our community for many generations to enjoy,” said Council Member Council. “I am looking forward to seeing our residents enjoying the facility.”
Opened in 1968, the JFK Center was originally built with an ice skating rink, which was turned into the state’s largest outdoor/indoor swimming pool, the first built to Olympic size. The pool’s roof, built on rollers, enables it to be used in all weather. In 2002, the facility hosted several events of the U.S. Youth Games, which brought teams aged 15-18 from cities across the nation to compete in a variety of athletic events.
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