Long-Delayed East Harlem Community Center Opens
December 3, 2011 12:49pm | By Jeff Mays, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer
Troy White, 19, said the newly-opened Johnson Center had a lot to offer him and his friends. (DNAinfo/Jeff Mays)
HARLEM—Troy White's eyes lit up as he walked into the brand-new gymnasium of the Johnson Houses Community and Children's Center on Lexington Avenue in East Harlem.
Now 19-years-old, construction on the center, near 115th Street, began a decade ago when White was in elementary school.
"It's been a long time but it looks like it's worth it," said White who has lived at the James Weldon Johnson Houses for 15 years and is looking for work. "Right now, there's nothing to do but stand around in the projects."
New York City Housing Authority officials say they hope the new $21 million, 21,500-square-foot center will change that. The building includes a children's center and a community center that has a performance stage, technology center sponsored by Time Warner Cable, a weight room, senior area and a kitchen that can be used for cooking classes.
The man who the housing complex was named after, James Weldon Johnson was an author, poet and civil rights activist who wrote the Negro National Anthem.
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