March 01, 2009
Draft Phase 1 Remediation Plan to be Discussed
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash announced there will be a public information meeting March 26 on a proposal to demolish 14 buildings at the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center as part of the first phase of the long-term remediation of the property. The March 26 meeting will also include a presentation on a detailed study, which will start next month, that will develop detailed cost estimates for cleaning up the site.
"In order to reduce the safety risks at the site, State Parks is planning to demolish badly deteriorated structures that have no potential to be reused," Ash said. "The plan will allow some progress to be made at Kings Park as we await the finalization of a more comprehensive remediation study. Work on the remediation study will begin in March and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010. The remediation study will provide us with an accurate understanding of costs of the massive environmental and structural cleanup effort needed at Kings Parks, which are essential to any long-term decisions about the property."
Members of the community can learn more about the plan at a public information meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26 at Kings Park High School auditorium. Written and oral comments will be accepted at the meeting. Written comments will also be accepted until April 9, 2009 and should be directed to: Thomas Lyons, Director of Resource Management, Thomas@Lyons.oprhp@state@ny@us (emailed comments are preferred), or Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation; Empire State Plaza; Agency 1; Albany, NY 12238.
"I am pleased that Commissioner Ash has agreed to meet with the community and that the remediation of this park is moving forward. Her willingness to discuss the future of this park directly with the residents is a great sign for the future. This land is important to the entire Kings Park area and I look forward to continuing to work with Commissioner Ash to make sure that everyone's voice is heard," said Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District).
"I appreciate the Commissioner taking the time to come to Kings Park to inform the community of progress so far, and to listen to the community's ideas and concerns regarding the future of the remainder of the KPPC site. A healthy dialogue is important as we begin the journey toward the future of Kings Park, a journey we're all eager to begin," said Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (7th Assembly District).
According to Ash, the initial plan calls for demolition of 14 structures totaling 222,000 square feet; restoring and landscaping demolition sites; removing selected deteriorated roads and parking areas; and implementing an experimental steam tunnel remediation project. A project description is available at www.nysparks.com.
OPRHP manages 152 acres of the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center transferred in 2000 as Nissequogue River State Park. OPRHP has responsibility for an additional 365 acres transferred in 2006. The former Kings Park Psychiatric Center contains more than 84 abandoned buildings filled with asbestos and lead paint, five miles of underground steam tunnels containing asbestos material, an ash landfill and significant on-site burial of construction and demolition debris.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation administers 178 parks and 35 state historic sites. For more information about state parks and historic sites in New York, please visit www.nysparks.com.