The RDRC Community Update
By Curtis Archer, Executive Director
At a time when public funds for new projects have become scarce, Queens elected officials have stepped up to the plate in support of an important project that will bring higher education to the Rockaways and keep quality health care available to community residents. Congressman Gregory W. Meeks, Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall, and Councilmember James Sanders Jr. have seen to it that federal, state and city funds, which have been previously earmarked for the development of the Rockaway Education and Health Center Project (REHC) located at 6200 Beach Channel Drive, have remained intact for this key project. The late Assemblywoman Pauline Rhodd-Cummings who envisioned the creation of the center had earmarked $650,000 in state funds for the project. These funds have survived post- September 11th budget cuts.
The REHC project will be developed and owned by Rockaway Development and Revitalization Corporation (RDRC) and the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center (Addabbo). RDRC will own and manage the educational facility and lease space to York College and the College of Aeronautics. The schools will provide liberal arts, pre-college, and adult education courses and a curriculum geared towards positions in the aeronautics industry. The expectation is that a student will be able to complete and finish an associates degree in aeronautics at this center.
The Addabbo Center will relocate to this site and continue providing quality health care for so many under-insured Rockaway residents. The Addabbo Center is the only federally subsidized health care provider in the Rockaways and provides invaluable primary care, mental health care, dental care and social services to the people of the Rockaways.
To date, the elected officials have committed the following amounts: $440,000 to the Addabbo Center from Congressman Meeks, $2 million from the Borough President's office, $1.1 million from the City Council, and $650,000 from the State Assembly.