By Jessica Brockington
From left to right: Janice Sweeting, Board of Directors, LSNC; Dan Campanello, Office of the NYC Controller, Scott Stringer; Stephan Russon, Executive Director, Goddard Riverside; Kim Smalls, Flooring Specialist, Lowe’s; and Susan Matloff-Nieves, Executive Director, LSNC.
THE LINCOLN SQUARE NEIGHBORHOOD CENTER HAS ITS STAGE BACK THANKS TO A $50,000 GRANT FROM LOWE’S.
The neighborhood center is located at 250 West 65th Street. It provides multi-generational programming to over 1,000 residents of the Amsterdam Houses and Amsterdam Addition. It offers lunch daily to seniors, as well as daycare, after-school activities and summer camp.
The community performance space has been out of the limelight for the last several years. The stage floor, originally a wood parquet, was buckled by flooding and used primarily for storage space.
“Last August I received a call from Lowe’s. They were new to the area and were offering to paint the community center,” said Susan Matloff-Nieves, Executive Director of LSNC.
“I told them I had received four offers to paint the facility in the six weeks that I’d been there.” When she suggested they help refurbish the stage floor, she said they jumped right into the project.
“Lowe’s said ‘We’re going to do this right.'” Matloff-Nieves said.
Free consulting on exactly how to reconstruct the floor came from Synapse Audio Visual Design. It took four days to put down two layers of plywood, and then the “gorgeous” hardwood oak floor. It is a professional stage floor.
Kim Smalls, the flooring specialist from Lowe’s, was involved from the get-go.
“They wanted a black hardwood oak floor. We were able to achieve the effect with a brownish gray. It’s 1000 square feet of flooring and it’s absolutely beautiful,” Smalls said. “We were very happy to make this $50,000 investment in the community.”
Stephan Russo, Executive Director of Goddard Riverside Community Center, which recently merged with LSNC, said that the stage shows the strength of the new partnership between Goddard Riverside and Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center.
“Goddard is able to share its resources,” he said. “It’s the first concrete project we’ve undertaken together. It’s very symbolic.”
In terms of getting the stage fully functional, there is more work to be done, according to Susan Macaluso, Arts Director at Goddard Riverside. The floor is just the first step.
“It’ll take $10,000 to get the lights back up. They are also water damaged, but we don’t know what we’ll find when we start taking them apart,” Macaluso said. A total redo, with new curtains, sound, lights, and project screens could cost as much as $100,000 on the high end.
In an area rich with world class performers and performance spaces, LSNC envisions future partnerships with Lincoln Tower Players, Juilliard School of Music, and LaGuardia High School of the Performing Arts, among others.
It will be a fine space for up and coming performers, said Macaluso.
The first performance on the new floor is scheduled for May 21. It is a multi-generational music composition competition. There are two categories: under 25 and over 65 and it represents the vision of the neighborhood center to offer integrated programming to the community.