Construction on the 10,000-square-foot structure is expected to start next summer, and be completed in 2017, according to the Parks Department.
The structure, which will nearly double the current visitors’ center, is necessary to meet the demands of popular after-school and camp programs, which create an enormous waiting list every year of 7,000 to 10,000 children.
The new building will house more classrooms, staff offices, a large lobby that doubles as an exhibition space, a public meeting room and restrooms.
“We are very excited,” said Irene Scheid, APEC executive director. “The organization sees a lot of potential in this new building in terms of education value and community teaching capabilities.”
The new structure will be LEED silver certified, which is the third highest green rating by the U.S. Green Building Council, behind gold and platinum. The exterior will be a modern design, clad in brick, glass and steel.
The center’s parking lot is also being designed with bioswales that capture and retain storm water.
To fund the project, the Queens borough president’s office allocated $4 million, the City Council allocated $2.186 million and the mayor’s office added $1 million.