When the school day ends, a Coney Island classroom turns into a dance floor.
It's part of an after-school program that used to be held at the Surfside Gardens Community Center, but the center has been padlocked and fenced off even since it was flooded by Hurricane Sandy nearly six years ago.
"Since then, we've been completely dislocated. We've moved five times. We've been just counting on the generosity of the community and of our neighbors," says Brooke Rosenthal, community programs vice president of Heartshare St. Vincent's Services.
PS 288 is now the temporary home of the Cornerstone Program, operated by Heartshare St. Vincent's Services. But its programming has been downsized because of the school's limited space and availability.
Senior programs that once operated out of the Surfside Gardens Center have been canceled altogether.
Both the senior and after-school programs at Surfside had operated for for more than seven years until Sandy hit.
"Everything was ruined. Computer, the TVs. Everything. Complete devastation," says educational coordinator Felicia Turner.
The community center was part of the Surfside Gardens development run by the city's Housing Authority. Heartshare St. Vincent's says NYCHA has failed to make good on repeated promises to reopen it.
City Councilman Mark Treyger says money is not an issue because NYCHA received $100 million in federal Sandy aid just to repair Surfside Gardens.
"I am telling NYCHA, get your act together," Treyger says. "You have all the money that you need. Put together a competent team that knows that what they're doing, fix the infrastructure and get this program started for our kids right away."
NYCHA tells NY1 it understands the frustration but promises the community center will reopen in the fall. But Heartshare St. Vincent's says NYCHA has a long history of failing to meet its own deadlines to rebuild the center. It's launched an online campaign to push the housing authority to finish the job.
"The residents in Coney Island are still bearing witness to this devastation. They've waited for five years for the community center to open, and now it's time for the city to fix Surfside," Rosenthal says.
While NYCHA promises that the wait will soon be over, NY1 visited the site twice in recent weeks, and it was deserted. No one was working on repairs.