Bay Ridge Center opens new modern facility for seniors on Feb. 22


By Chuck Otey

Already ‘Connected’ on 3rd Ave. Center’s Spacious 15 Bay Ridge Ave. HQ Hailed As A Big Step Forward!!

Most ‘senior centers’ don’t last and grow steadily for over 46 years, and they can only imagine launching a modern, spacious new headquarters. It’s a true answer to any older resident’s dreams, but don’t tell that to Todd Fleidner, Dave Dring or Lascel Parkinson: three of the top leaders of the Bay Ridge Center, which for more than four decades has operated out of a church basement on 4th Ave.

With the aid of educator Victoria Hofmo (right) Bay Ridge Connected Director Lascel Parkinson(left) has embarked on a timely English as Second Language program. This program ‘fills a growing need in this community where many newer – even older – residents, express a strong desire to become conversant in English’, she said. Photo: Chuck Otey/Eagle

Let’s get into ‘the numbers’.

Director Fliedner & crew announced that “Bay Ridge Center has outgrown its antique 4,700-sq. ft facility and is expanding to a 21,000-sq. ft facility to meet the needs of current clients and the expanding needs of the community.”

So, after a long and challenging ‘search’ endeavor on Feb. 22, this revered Bay Ridge institution will move out of its rabbit-warren on Ovington Ave. venue to a beautiful refurbished building at 15 Bay Ridge Avenue!

In truth this Center has already effectively out-reached thanks to its popular Third Ave.”Bay Ridge Connects” satellite which bustles with senior activities just about every weekday, thanks to its Director Parkinson.

This story is too good to be told second-hand, so this week I’ve asked the Center’s Communication director – Dave Dring – to provide us with words of introduction which will bring glee to the thousands of seniors who have worked long and admirably within  their make-shift quarters, generously provided by Bethlehem Lutheran Pastor, Paul Knudsen. 

15 Bay Ridge Avenue, previously the headquarters of the Bay Ridge Center. Photo courtesy of Chuck Otey

‘Inch by Inch Bay Ridge Center is Progressing on its New Location’ 

By Dave Dring

Everyone at the Bay Ridge Center, both members and staff, are excited about our new location, 15 Bay Ridge Ave. It has so much to offer. We are moving from a space of 5,000 square feet to one that is over 20,000 square feet. 

We are going from 2 activity spaces to seven and each of them are much larger and have advanced technology. For example, our new Exercise Suite is divided into two rooms. The first is a strengthening room with state-of-the art exercise equipment that we are getting from Singapore.  After an international search we found this equipment has gone through the most rigorous testing and has the most evidence proving it is the best for older adults.

Other spaces in the new location include an Art Studio. For the first time, we have a dedicated space to keep our supplies handy, provide a wide variety of instruction as well as have self-directed time to enjoy the creative process.

The Computer Lab is another exciting space. We’ll have a workstation for instruction in the form classes, one-on-one instruction as well as time to use the workstations for one’s own projects. The Computer Lab will provide classes on applications for workstations, as well as tablets and smartphones. The Lab will also have a collection of tablets that members can borrow to use throughout the Center. The Center will have free WiFi for all to connect to the Internet throughout the building.

As you probably know, Pickleball is a new craze and we will have an indoor court in our multi-purpose room.  This room will also be used for presentations, dance parties as well as serving hot lunches. 

“We Haven’t Moved Yet’

We continue to offer classes at our current location: downstairs in the Lutheran Church at the corner of Ovington and Fourth Avenue (6935 Fourth Avenue).  We are so thankful to the Lutheran Church for providing this space to the Center for over 47 years.

Here are a few classes that we think you’ll enjoy.

  • Free Conversational ESL with Victoria – Come learn English as a Second Language in a conversational format.  A new six week series starts on Tuesday, February 7th.  Classes will be held on Tuesday and Friday until March 17th at 9 a.m.
  • History of Josephine Baker will be a class led by member, Yvonne Westmoreland. Come listen and reminisce about this incredible artist on Friday, Feb. 10th at 11 a.m.
  • Our Valentine’s Day Party will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14 from 1 to 3.  Join us for some holiday cheer, special dessert and fun dancing.
  • History of Soul Train will be an entertaining as well as educational program led by our intern Sam. Come along and catch the beat. This class will be Thursday Feb. 23 at 11 a.m.

There are over 50 classes offered each week. Please view our calendar at  If you have any questions, please call us at (718) 748-0650.

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