September 25, 2009
Eight soccer fields and two baseball diamonds significantly expand recreational facilities in underserved community.
Commissioner Carol Ash of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Senators Owen Johnson and Brian X. Foley, Assemblyman Philip R. Ramos, and community representatives today celebrated the completion of the first phase of improvements and with the official opening of the Brentwood State Park Athletic Field Complex.
The new 50-acre complex consists of eight new synthetic turf soccer fields varying in size to accommodate all divisions of age groups. There are two adult, one intermediate, three bantam and two junior fields. The complex has two new synthetic turf baseball fields. They are regulation size 90' diamonds built for high school age and older players. Professional-styled field lighting on one soccer field and one baseball field allows for nighttime activity.
Included in Phase I is the construction of three new buildings, which include a new Maintenance facility that houses a concession stand and comfort restrooms. The Main building will also have comfort facilities and a concession stand. The baseball fields will have an Announcer's booth, including a maintenance-storage facility and concession area. Two parking areas were constructed to accommodate up to 285 vehicles and an overflow area outside the park for an additional 50 more cars.
"Today, this park is taking shape as a premier recreational facility, where games will be played, skills will be honed and young people will be taught the valuable life lessons of competition and sportsmanship," Commissioner Carol Ash said. "Not only will these new facilities greatly improve the park, they will improve the quality of life in the Brentwood community. It is particularly exciting to be a part of the effort to establish a park in a community that has traditionally been underserved by quality recreational facilities."
"I am thrilled to know that after six years of planning and construction, phase one of the Brentwood State Park project is ready to be played on by the youth of Brentwood and our surrounding communities," said Senator Owen Johnson (R-Babylon). "Eight soccer fields and two baseball diamonds constructed with all-weather turf field material, public restrooms, parking lots, concessions stands and maintenance buildings have transformed half of the 52 acres of barren grasslands into a truly magnificent state park. I am pleased that former State Senator Caesar Trunzo and I were able to secure nearly $7 million dollars in state funding three years ago to begin construction of phase one. I strongly urge Governor Paterson and Commissioner Ash to include funding for the Phase II completion of the park in the 2010-11 State Budget so the children of our communities can have a fully completed "Field of Dreams!"
"I am so pleased to join local communities in celebrating the opening of the Brentwood State Park," said Senator Brian X. Foley (D - Blue Point). "It will be a state-of-the-art facility for children and families in Brentwood and the surrounding communities to enjoy. Whether they're playing soccer or baseball our youth will have access to a wonderful venue and an alternative to gangs and destructive behavior. The Brentwood State Park will truly be a facility we can all be proud of."
"The new athletic complex at Brentwood State Park provides families with an opportunity to get out and participate in sports and recreation right here in Brentwood," said Assemblyman Phil Ramos (D-Central Islip). "This vital investment in our community will yield years of dividends by providing healthy alternatives for our children and their families while preserving much-needed open space. This is a proactive initiative to keep our children and youth off the streets."
"On behalf of our community, I would like to thank our devoted Senators, Assemblyman, Commissioner Ash and her hard working staff, the Brentwood Athletic Complex Board and all those who have worked very hard together with us to get this project going and done. It is a delightful experience. Today is a celebration for all the years our players, despite their great love for the game of soccer, felt unworthy because they had to endure the condition of these fields. It is a new beginning for our children as we are way past the dream; we are here. This beautiful complex will provide our players with the best opportunities to reach their potentials with PRIDE and JOY. I applaud the efforts and commitment of all involved, and look forward to Phase II and making this Park the best one in the State," said Violett Smith, President of the Brentwood Youth Soccer Club.
"On behalf of our hundreds of players and their families, I would like to thank Commissioner Ash and her fine staff for partnering with our programs and building this magnificent facility, the Brentwood Athletic Complex Board for keeping the community actively involved and our elected officials for their support especially in the early days when this was all a dream," said Thomas O'Hara, President of the Brentwood Travel Baseball.
Phase II, which is pending available state funding, would add two additional synthetic turf baseball fields and nine additional soccer fields, expand the parking lots to near double in size, and additional field lighting. Also planned is the addition to the Main building, creating office and meeting room space.
Over the past two years, Governor Paterson and the Legislature authorized nearly $200 million in capital improvement spending for New York's 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. The infusion has enabled the state to begin addressing the estimated $650 million in capital needs of the parks system.
The 52-acre Brentwood State Park, which opened in 2003 after the land was transferred from the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, attracts 100,000 patrons a year. For more information about state parks and historic sites in New York, please visit www.nysparks.com.