Town of North Hempstead “Yes We Can” Community Center

A Green-Minded Space Uniting a Community


New Cassel, NY


Town of North Hempstead Department of Public Works

Project Cost

$22 million


LiRo was Construction Manager for the new “Yes We Can” Community Center. The facility was named after President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan. One of the most energy efficient buildings in New York State, this two-story, 60,000 sf facility is certified LEED Platinum by USGBC.

About the Project

The design includes myriad sustainable features, starting with high-efficiency envelope sheathing and thermal glaze window panels. Interior lighting is provided by ultra-efficient fixtures supplemented by lightwells reaching into basement spaces and outdoor views from regularly occupied rooms. Heating and cooling is generated by a geothermal closed-loop system, and a south facing solar wall provides hot water. Optimal sub-grade illumination is maintained with the use of light wells. Photovoltaic panels mounted atop solar trees form a canopy above the at-grade parking lot on the south side of the site. A grey-water system provides secondary re-use onsite and rooftop rain water is collected for on-site irrigation of community garden spaces. Energy performance monitoring systems as well as motion sensors were installed throughout the structure for optimized conservation. Electric vehicle recharging stations were installed in parking stalls, and external lighting was designed to minimize glare and reduce light pollution. Locally manufactured and recycled building materials, as well as Energy-Star equipment and appliances, were incorporated into the construction. Building program areas include a gymnasium/ auditorium with a performance stage, two NBA-sized basketball courts, a computer lounge, computer training center, teen space, senior center, snack canteen, reading room, multi-purpose community rooms served by a warming kitchen, fitness center, dance studio, emergency center, public access television studio, and administration spaces.


The community center opened in September 2012 and featured then-New York Knicks player Marcus Camby signing autographs and local leaders calling Yes We Can a milestone for a community devoid of a hub as local youth centers closed over the years.


Program & Construction Management


Cultural/ Civic