It’s the Marine Park money pit!
The cost of a new, one-story Marine Park field house plagued with construction delays has more than doubled over the last three years — from $6.5 to $16 million — and residents want to know why all that money needs to be spent on such a building that is essentially a community room with a toilet.
But the city’s Office of Management and Budget OK’d the additional funds last week, paving the way for a building roughly the size of a tennis court that will house a meeting space for seniors, some bathrooms, a kitchen, office and locker space and a garage where the Parks Department can store their equipment.
“For that amount of money, you could build a building on Park Avenue in Manhattan,” said Greg Borruso, the president of the Marine Park Civic Association. “I can’t believe [the city’s raising the price] in this time of hardship,” Borruso said.
Marine Park senior citizen and longtime Community Board 18 member John Manzola agreed.
“I could build a skyscraper for that [kind of money],” Manzola said. “This is a disgrace.”
Yet the city is going ahead with the plan, claiming that “unforeseen field conditions” led to the increase in costs.
“[Marine Park’s] high water table required us to raise the building a couple of feet during construction,” a city spokeswoman told us. “But the delay and increase in cost are mostly attributable to the termination of a subcontractor for non performance. This forced us to have other contractors on the site take up the unfinished work and required that we build the project out of sequence.”
In June, city officials said that the “green” building’s complicated, environmentally-conscious technology had jacked up the price. The building is being constructed with recycled materials and has solar panels that will generate five percent of the building’s power.
Parks official Marty Mar said the building was expected to be completed by 2009, but at least one contractor had to be let go because it didn’t have the experience required to work on the building’s high-tech geothermal heating and air conditioning system, slowing the project — and making it more expensive.
“None of the other companies attached to the project could do it,” Mar explained, “[Because specialists were needed] the prices we coined four years ago changed. When we opened things up for new bids, we had to get some new money.”
There have been no working bathrooms in Marine Park since the project began in 2008 — forcing park-“goers” to use toilet trailers brought to the park.
Currently, the project is expected to be completed by Spring, 2012. It will be named for beloved civic leader Carmine Carro, who had been pushing for a new park house since 1990 when he died in 2005.