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Brooklyn Rec Center Opens For First Time Since Sandy

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TWC News: Brooklyn Rec Center Opens For First Time Since Sandy
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After nearly two months of repairs, the doors of a popular recreation center in Brooklyn are back open just in time for the holidays. NY1's Arlene Borenstein has the story.

Holiday tunes filled the air Saturday to celebrate the Red Hook Recreation Center’s reopening.

It was the first time doors opened to the public since Hurricane Sandy hit nearly two months ago.

"It took us a few days to pump out the basement, assess what was happening, looking at our boilers and electrical systems and making those repairs," Assistant Commissioner for Public Programs Annika Holder said.

The storm surge from Sandy filled the basement of the center, a former bathhouse built in 1939, with several feet of water.

Despite a minor electrical glitch that switched off the lights for about 5 minutes, children were illuminated with the holiday spirit. It was a sign of normalcy despite what they've been through after the storm.

"Trees that were standing up weren't standing up anymore," one boy at the center said. "They were knocked down on the houses."

But Sandy was far back in the minds of kids who were busy doing crafts, playing basketball and other fun activities.

But it wasn't just kids getting gifts at the Rec Center. Adults, children and seniors who are members here will get a two month free extension because of the closure after Sandy.

"People need a place to go to have fun, relax and get exercise," Bob Weyersburg who volunteers as a coach coordinator at the Rec Center said. "These rec centers are incredibly valuable resources to do that."

The reopening of the center -- which includes a gymnasium, an outdoor pool and fitness center -- could not have come at a better time.

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