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Mama Mia! New center for Hurst

The Brooklyn Paper
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Bensonhurst may soon look like a community of Michelangelo-sculpted Davids, thanks to the Federation of Italian American Organizations, which announced this week that it will begin building an athletic and cultural facility in the neighborhood this spring.

The three-story, $6-million cultural center will bring a gymnasium, an indoor track, and a swimming pool to the recreation-deprived community, according to City Councilman Dominic Recchia (D–Coney Island), who, like state Sen. Marty Golden (D–Bay Ridge), allocated $2 million for the site.

“There’s a lack of gym space [in Bensonhurs­t],” said Recchia. “And there’s a big need for pools in South Brooklyn. This pool will be open seven days a week, and be open to everyone in the community.”

But the center, to sit at the corner of Benson and 18th avenues, won’t be all about sports.

It will also house the Federation.

“We needed a hub where the Italian culture and language would be kept alive,” said Jack Spatola, the Federation’s chairman. “Our parents and grandparents are passing away.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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