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Posted on: April 27, 2021

Roosevelt Island Announces Opening of Newly Renovated Youth Center

RIYC GR ribbon cutting

Roosevelt Island Announces Opening of Newly Renovated Youth Center

The Educational Haven Offers Accessible Programming, Upgraded Features, and Thoughtful Design Elements  

(Roosevelt Island, NY Apr. 16 2021) – Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) today announced the opening of a nearly 8,000 square foot, $2.1M newly renovated Roosevelt Island Youth Center (RIYC). The RIYC will serve as a safe space where youth will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of enrichment, recreational, and educational programming as the youth center promotes personal development, social discovery, and team building. 

“Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation understands the importance of accessible education and youth services,” said Shelton J. Haynes, President and CEO of RIOC. “The renovated space truly offers a creative, warm, comforting, and energetic setting that enhances and supports the robust services we’re proud to be able to offer to youth, not only from Roosevelt Island but the broader community as well.”  

With a modernized design and reimagined layout by DIGroup Architecture, youth ages seven to 18 will enjoy upgrades that include immersive areas like a music den – complete with a multitude of instruments – multipurpose lounge, activity studio, crafts and study center, and learning kitchen. A new multi-media theatre, gaming center and STEM lab, along with an educational garden, round out the multidimensional space. 

Great attention was also paid to interior décor through the implementation of color theory, used to craft a conducive ambiance unique to each space and its intended use. A palette of teal, burnt orange, and tangerine were chosen to elicit a fun, vibrant, and whimsical feeling. Modular furniture can easily be transformed and customized based on area activities and the age-group using it, ensuring that all spaces are multifunctional, diverse, and inclusive. 

“With the opening of these doors, young people will not only have a bespoke physical space to enjoy but they’re also getting the opportunity to expand their educational horizons,” said Erica Spencer-EL, Director, Communications and Community Affairs at RIOC. “The discovery and foundations set forth here will have a lasting and powerful impact on the young people who take advantage of it.” 

Beyond modernization and beautification, comprehensive programming enables attendees to explore their interests and skills, connect with their community, embrace college and career planning, and even take part in recording YC Live, the RIYC podcast. 

“Our goal has been and continues to be the creation of peerless programming,” said Ana Medina, Assistant Director of the RIYC. “We’ve developed a place where youth can freely express themselves, grow, and connect with the world around them.” 

Additional building features include custom millwork and smart TVs. Security cameras were installed along with energy efficient systems like lighting, HVAC, and plumbing. Bathrooms were upgraded to conform to ADA standards and mural-like window graphics adorn the main entrance. 

A live, virtual ribbon cutting will be held on Saturday, April 17 at 12:30 p.m., via Instagram (@RooseveltIslandRIOC), with programming commencing on Monday, April 19.

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