Asphalt Green pool filled as a PR maneuver to deflect the fact that the center will not be ready this season

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April 26, 2012 By Steven Greer, MD

A local printed flier featured today yet another pro-BPCA fluff piece highlighting the positives of the Asphalt Green athletic center. We previously reported how the BPCA Gayle Horwitz blamed the city for the long delays, then reported on the real reasons for the delays.

In the article today, the BPCA reached out to the sympathetic venue of the flier that relies on the BPCA for stories and advertising revenue, to place a story about an alternate site for swimming classes far Uptown on 91st street. Instead of expressing the true outrage of the community that our own swimming pool will not be ready this season, the article simply mentioned, “Anne Fenton, special assistant to Authority President Gayle Horwitz, said she realizes that the timetable is of special concern to parents…. “Construction is progressing toward completion,” said Matthew Monahan, the Battery Park City Authority’s senior vice president of public affairs. “Last week, the contractors filled the pool with 186,000 gallons of water, as well as installing a heat and natural gas meter. The boiler is running, which is working to dehumidify the plywood sub-floor in the gymnasium. In the next week and a half, the floor is expected to dry-out enough so that contractors can lay down the hardwood floor and it will stay down without buckling.”

Rather than representing true progress in construction, the filling of the pool is likely a PR ploy to give the appearance to passerby’s, who can look through the sidewalk windows and see the pool, that “It’s almost ready.” In fact, Ms. Horwitz informed the community (see video below) at the town hall meeting that the pool would soon be filled, and proceeded to follow that announcement with “(However) I cannot give any updates as to when (asphalt green will be completed).”

The Asphalt Green complex, and the far more expensive and even longer delayed Pier A in the South, are both being hampered by the mass firing of the 19 BPCA employees, many of whom were the only dedicated construction staff capable of navigating the city bureaucracy. Chairman Bill Thompson is in charge of the BPCA and is also running for Mayor in 2013.

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