Smithtown, NY - October 17, 2014 - New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) has shared a draft conceptual plan for the next phase of improvements at Nissequogue River State Park with park stakeholders. The $6.4 million project calls for the demolition of abandoned residential buildings at the former Kings Park Psychiatric Center (KPPC) and restoring the site as a new scenic park area overlooking Long Island Sound.
"I'm excited that we continue to make steady progress on the transformation of the Kings Park campus into a high quality state park," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "I appreciate Senator Flanagan's commitment to making Nissequogue River State Park a great asset for the community, as well as Governor Cuomo's efforts to enhance and revitalize state parks and historic sites in communities across the state."
"I am pleased to see that the Office of Parks continues to move forward with the remediation of this parkland and that the interests of the entire Kings Park community are being thoughtfully considered and incorporated into the cleanup process. The plans for Phase II, which will provide both enhanced recreational and educational facilities, are consistent with the community's long term vision for the future of this land and demonstrate a strong sign that the input of the residents is being carefully considered. I fully support all future efforts to remediate the south side of NRSP, which as parkland is eligible to benefit from the remediation funds that I have secured to restore this land," stated Senator John Flanagan.
The draft plan calls for the demolition of six deteriorated KPPC buildings along with removal of additional steam tunnel segments. The site will be transformed into a park setting, including a new picnic pavilion for large outings, multi-use informal athletic fields, picnic area, garden area and new pathways and trails with improved vistas overlooking Long Island Sound. Building 130, a former KPPC medical staff residence, will be converted to a public comfort station. The plan proposes that Building 132, another former staff residence, will be stabilized and preserved for potential use as a site for future park programming.
The public is invited to learn more about the draft plan at kppccleanup.com.
The first phase of the KPPC remediation project included the demolition of 19 buildings and structures along with associated underground tunnels, roadways and walkways; abatement of hazardous materials; and final site restoration. When closed in 1996, the KPPC campus included more than 60 abandoned buildings and associated infrastructure.
Funding for the project comes from a $25 million appropriation secured by Senator Flanagan in 2006. Detailed project design and bidding will take place in 2015, with construction expected to begin in the spring of 2016. The project complements Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's efforts to revitalize New York State Parks. Launched by Governor Cuomo in 2012, NY Works has supported a total of $421 million to advance 279 park enhancement and improvement projects at 109 state parks and historic sites across the state.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.