Mayor Adams, DDC, NYC Parks Break Ground on $92 Million Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center on Staten Island

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Thomas Foley, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) Commissioner Sue Donoghue today broke ground on the new $92 million Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center in Tompkinsville, Staten Island.

Today’s groundbreaking marks the first groundbreaking for a recreation center on Staten Island in over 14 years. The recreation center is a key part of Mayor Adams’ “Staten Island North Shore Action Plan,” a roadmap that details strategic investments to the North Shore of Staten Island that will unlock 20 acres of public open space, create over 7,500 family-sustaining jobs, generate an estimated economic impact of $3.8 billion, and accelerate the completion of over 2,400 units of housing.

“For too long, Staten Island has been neglected and ignored, but this administration is changing that. From opening part of Freshkills Park to expanding the Staten Island Compost Facility, and now, building a recreational center here for the first time in 14 years, we're delivering on our vision for a better Staten Island,” said Mayor Adams. “The Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center will be a community hub where Staten Islanders can learn, play, and enjoy public space together, and it is a fitting tribute to Mary Cali Dalton, a leader who understood the power of parks and public space. Our administration looks forward to continuing to invest in Staten Island — whether through parks, jobs, housing, or quality of life improvements — and delivering for all of the borough’s residents.”

The center will be named in memory of beloved NYC Parks Chief of Recreation for Staten Island Mary Cali Dalton. Dalton began her career at NYC Parks in 1999 as a Work Experience Program participant before being hired as a playground associate one year later. Less than five months later, she was promoted to recreation specialist where she worked to enhance recreational programming until taking over as borough director of recreation in 2002. Dalton was best known for her mantra of “being in charge of the magic,” and diligently worked to provide Staten Islanders with the most innovative, cutting-edge programming and recreational opportunities possible.

The new 45,000-square-foot center will offer a variety of recreational amenities, including sports courts, four electric vehicle charging stations, an indoor-outdoor running track, and fitness and cardio rooms.

NYC Parks gathered community feedback about the new recreation center through two community input meetings during the design phase in December 2020 and January 2021. The new facility will be adjacent to the former Cromwell Recreation Center, which closed in 2010, and will be located at 1 Hannah Street, along the waterfront in Tompkinsville and adjacent to NYC Parks’ Lyons Pool.

This project was completed through DDC’s Design-Build initiative, which delivered the project two-and-a-half years faster than through the traditional approach, with expected completion at the end of 2025. Design-Build helps reduce project costs and shorten construction time by having one entity — instead of — execute both the design and construction processes.

“The Mary Cali Dalton Recreation Center, in the heart of Staten Island, encapsulates our commitment to health, community, and innovation," said New York State Assemblymember Charles D. Fall. "This center, the first of its kind in over a decade, meets significant M/WBE participation goals and sets new standards in community development. Furthermore, naming it after Mary Cali Dalton honors a local hero whose life’s work was devoted to our community’s betterment. Proud to have advocated & fought for advancement of this facility. This is a proud day for Staten Island.”