Assemblywoman Nikki Lucas has taken significant steps towards fulfilling her promise of securing a brand-new football field for the Thomas Jefferson High School Campus as part of her comprehensive 21st Century Rescue Plan for East Brooklyn.
Addressing Neglect and Restoring Vitality
Recognizing the long-standing neglect of the Thomas Jefferson football field, Assemblywoman Lucas emphasized the importance of providing a safe space for student-athletes in the district and served as the catalyst to make things happen for Thomas Jefferson High School. The field has suffered from years of disrepair and has been condemned for the past four years, depriving both the Thomas Jefferson football team and local youth football teams of a proper playing field.
Collaboration with Mayor and DOE Chancellor
Upon assuming her role as Assemblymember, Lucas conducted a walk-through of the district alongside Mayor Eric Adams, where they observed the neglected parts of the community, including the Thomas Jefferson sports complex. This firsthand experience reinforced the urgent need for revitalization.
More recently, Lucas organized a walk-through of the Thomas Jefferson field with NYC DOE Chancellor David Banks and representatives from the School Construction Authority (SCA). This collaborative effort has resulted in a firm commitment to commence construction on the Thomas Jefferson athletic complex without delay.
Community Engagement and Commitment to Revitalization
During the walkthroughs, the presence of coaches from the Thomas Jefferson football team and Dr. Reid, Principal of Civil Rights HS located within the Thomas Jefferson Campus, further underscored the significance of this revitalization effort. Stakeholder input will play a vital role in shaping the phased approach to fully restore the field and track, benefitting students, families, and the greater East New York Community.
Chancellor David Banks expressed gratitude to Assemblywoman Nikki Lucas and the School Construction Authority for their commitment to revitalizing the site. “For years the Thomas Jefferson HS field and track have fallen deeper into disrepair. We are committed to fully revitalizing this important space for students, families and the greater East New York Community with a phased approach shaped by stakeholder input. Thanks to Assemblywoman Nikki Lucas and the School Construction Authority for touring the site with me.”
Assemblywoman Lucas stated, “my office suggested, and it was agreed, that members of the Thomas Jefferson Campus, including students, teachers, coaches, and parents must be included in the process. Too often fields and arts spaces are constructed without involvement of key community members, which sometimes results in new spaces that are not completely useable. Involvement of those who will use the space is vital to this project, and any project within the district, going forward.”
Immediate Construction and Phased Upgrades
With a sense of urgency, construction work will commence immediately, focusing on the section of the complex that includes the track and baseball field. According to the Department of Education (DOE), this initial phase is expected to be completed within six months. This will allow a portion of the athletic complex to be upgraded and made usable prior to the larger renovation project, which will encompass the football field, bleachers, field house, and handball and tennis courts. The second phase of upgrades will be carried out by the School Construction Authority (SCA).
The DOE has already initiated the scoping process for this phase and anticipates its completion in the fall, with construction to follow soon after.
Assemblywoman Lucas and the DOE are committed to a phased approach that prioritizes timely upgrades to the Thomas Jefferson athletic complex, ensuring that the community can begin benefitting from the improved facilities as soon as possible.