By Bill Parry
The basketball courts and playground at the Queensbridge Houses are about to get a complete overhaul.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) joined community leaders Tuesday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the $350,000 project funded through last year’s Participatory Budgeting in which more than 3,600 residents in his district decided how to spend $1.85 million in funding.
Investments in the basketball courts and playground at Queensbridge were among the winning projects, as they provide outdoor space for children and youth to play, build relationships and engage with their community. The renovations are part of Van Bramer’s ongoing commitment to improving quality of life for residents in the Queensbridge Houses and in public housing throughout his district.
“The basketball courts in Queensbridge are central to this community,” Van Bramer said. “I am thrilled to have allocated funding to renovate and restore the courts and nearby playground. These basketball courts have helped generations of Queensbridge residents develop their talents and leadership skills. I am proud to ensure that future leaders have a place to gather, grow and build community.”
Meanwhile, Van Bramer may have company in the race to succeed Queens Borough President Melinda Katz when her second term expires in 2021. City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) hosted a fund-raiser last week in which supporters were invited to help him “expand on our legacy and fight for higher office once my term ends.”
Van Bramer announced he would seek the borough president office in February and while Constantinides would not comment specifically on his plans, he did say he is mulling his next step in public service when his second term comes to an end in three years.
“Through my service on the City Council, I am proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish for our community, including better access to health care, new ferry service, and key investments in our public schools,” Constantinides said in a statement. “I am committed to fighting for Queens and addressing the challenges that remain throughout the rest of my time in office. I am also eager to explore opportunities to continue to serve the people of Queens and fight for a brighter future.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr