Friday, March 21, 2014

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Red Bus Fare Eliminated April 1, Temporary Sportspark Closure, West Pier Repaired Soon, Octagon Tennis Court Resurfacing & More

 Image Of Roosevelt Island West Pier Reconstruction

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
Spring has arrived on Roosevelt Island after a particularly severe New York Winter. With the warmer weather’s return, several construction projects are moving forward and our staff has begun preparing the parks and fields for spring. The fare on the Red Bus will soon be eliminated, smoothing out Main Street traffic and making traveling on the Bus simpler as we begin the season. Down at Sportspark, the final installation of the facility’s temporary heating system is taking place – more information is below.

Red Bus Fare Elimination

As March comes to an end, RIOC would like to remind the community that the Red Bus will be free to ride beginning April 1. The elimination of the fare will help keep traffic on Main Street moving with faster boarding times, encouraging the use of mass transit on the Island. Making the Red Bus free to ride will also reduce operating costs by eliminating the need to collect fares from the buses. If you have a fare change card, please be advised that March is the last month these cards will be accepted on the bus. Once the fare is eliminated, refunds for any unused value remaining on the cards will be available at the RIOC Bus Garage (680 Main Street) until April 30, 2014.

Temporary Sportspark Closure

For many years, Roosevelt Island’s Steam Plant has supplied steam to Goldwater Hospital, the Sportspark facility, and several additional RIOC properties. Due to the closure of Goldwater Hospital, the City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation intends to close the Steam Plant permanently. In preparation for the potential closure of the Plant, RIOC is currently in the process of installing a temporary heating system at Sportspark.

This Monday and Tuesday, March 24−25, the Sportspark pool and gymnasium will be closed in order to finalize the installation of the temporary system. During this two-day closure, contractors will be installing the boiler and performing the required tie-ins to the existing system. We regret the inconvenience to the community during this time and thank you for your patience as this necessary work is completed. Please note that this will be the only closure of the facility during this installation process. Sportspark will re-open on Wednesday, March 26 at 6 a.m.

Construction Projects

Work is moving forward quickly on the West Pier. The lumber required for the repairs was delivered in the beginning of March and the installation of the decking is expected to be completed shortly. Damaged wiring has been replaced and work on the railings is in progress. Repairs are scheduled to be completed by March 31. We are pleased to be able to restore the Pier for the community’s enjoyment.

This Spring, the Octagon Tennis Courts will be undergoing resurfacing to repair and improve the playing surface. The Tennis Courts are currently open for free play and will be closed when construction begins in the first week of April. The closure is anticipated to last for approximately two months. New 2014 permits will be issued once work is completed. We will continue to notify the community of any changes or developments.

Parks & Fields

RIOC’s Grounds, Facilities and Maintenance staff are hard at work preparing the Island for Spring. New clay and grass seed is being applied to the athletic fields to ensure an optimal playing surface when the season starts on April 1. The Octagon Soccer Field will also be re-striped. The parks and fields are undergoing a general cleanup – grassy areas are being reseeded, plant beds will be fertilized, irrigation systems will be tested and inspected, and any debris left over from the Winter will be removed.

Sportspark Classes

During the Winter, many residents kept warm and stayed active with fitness and swimming classes at Sportspark. Yoga, Zumba, and Mommy & Me classes, along with free basketball and ping pong play, are a fun way to keep in shape all year round. Visit our Parks & Recreation website at to see a list of available programs and a class calendar. If you would like to see more programming, different classes, or if you have any questions about what is offered at the gym or pool, we welcome your feedback. You may contact us at

In addition to offering instructed classes, the Sportspark Pool is open daily for two Open Swim sessions, one in the morning and one in the evening. You can drop in to any session (resident drop-in rates are $5), and Pool Memberships are available for those who would like to make swimming a part of their weekly routine. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that improves strength and flexibility while being easy on joints. Both Individual and Family Memberships are available. For more information on rates and the Open Swim schedule, you can visit, email, or call Sportspark at 212-832-4569.