Girls’ new clubhouse will be ready to rock by next summer

LOWER EAST SIDE GIRLS CLUB

[media-credit name="Photo by Aaron Lee Fineman" align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit]

Last month, an Airstream trailer was hoisted into the building’s second floor, where it will be the centerpiece of a recording studio.

BY DAVE PENTECOST  |  The Lower Eastside Girls Club is halfway through construction of its new facility on Avenue D in Manhattan. The 30,000-square-foot Center for Community will include a 30-foot digital dome planetarium, a recording studio in a 1958 Airstream trailer and rooms for video, photography, art, design and interactive projects. The center will also have an environmental center, green roofs, a letterpress workshop for book arts, a tool shop, a public cafe, a teaching kitchen and  a bakery.

The building was topped off in October with the pouring of the 12th-floor roof slab. The upper floors in the building contain 79 units of mixed-income housing, with 50 percent market rate, 30 percent middle income and 20 percent low income. Interior construction and facade work will continue through the winter, with completion of the building expected next summer. Then the Girls Club will install its equipment and furnishings, and a rolling opening of the center will start in the fall.

All activities in the center will be offered to girls of the neighborhood, ages 8 to 18, but there will be public events, conferences and classes open to the entire community. During the day, the planetarium will bring in students from public schools in the neighborhood for astronomy and earth science programs, using the same software as the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History uptown. After school the Domegirls project will teach 3D production and storytelling in the dome, using the Unity 3D game engine. In the evening, public programs will feature visualizations by data and code artists, live performers and musicians.

On Fri., Nov. 18, the Airstream trailer was hoisted into the second floor of the building, where it will be the centerpiece of the Radio Lounge. The trailer has been polished and repaired, and will be converted to a studio this winter and spring. Engineers, musicians and DJs will be invited to teach the girls of the club how to produce and perform. The control room will also serve as a 5.1 surround-sound mixing station for original dome shows in the planetarium.

All programs at the Girls Club are provided to girls at no cost. Activities are focused on the Girls Club’s main goal: raising the next generation of environmental, entrepreneurial and ethical leaders.

Pentecost is project manager for technology, Lower Eastside Girls Club

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