Coney Island Hospital is adding a whopping 10-story building to its complex later this year — four years after announcing the funding for the project.
The new building is the latest effort of the hospital to rebuild after getting hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, and shows its attempts to strengthen its image following years of poor performance.
“Every day it’s improving,” said Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo. “They have not really come back from Sandy. Now everything will be brand new.”
The construction is part of a $923 million Federal Emergency Management Agency aid commitment that was first announced back in 2014. The funds will go to constructing a new critical services building that will house a brand new emergency department, as well as X-ray, computerized axial tomography, magnetic-resonance imaging, pharmacy, and lab services. The money also reimburses Coney Island Hospital for repairs it made after the storm, which heavily damaged its facilities. The grant will also fund a massive, 1,720-foot flood wall surrounding the hospital campus to protect it from future superstorms.
The new tower will be 10 stories and 206 feet tall, according to the Department of Buildings. The actual work on the building is slated to begin in late 2018, according to a spokesman for NYC Health + Hospitals.
Coney Island Hospital has been making a series of changes since early 2017. At that time, the hospital started a complete revamp of its emergency care protocols — reducing the wait time with a new triage system, expanding their night and weekend hours, and equipping their staff with iPads and other new technology.
Scavo said that although she welcomes the new emergency department, she’d like to see the hospital become a trauma center, so people don’t need to travel to hospitals elsewhere in the borough for severe injuries sustained in major car crashes, fires and the like.
Christopher D. Greif, who advocates for the disabled in Southern Brooklyn, said he agrees on the need for a trauma center there.
“There are a lot of patients on Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay,” he said. “It would be easier to get there faster.”
The new building will be the latest tall structure to go up in the area, and not everyone is happy about it.
Martin Gangursky, from Brighton Beach, said he is a fan of the hospital, where he has been a patient before, but opposes the new building and all structures of that height going up, complaining that such towers block the sunshine in the formerly low-rise neighborhood.
“Many people come here because of the sun,” he said. “We got enough big buildings as is.”