Long Island College Hospital says it’s going to fix up dilapidated playgrounds on its Cobble Hill campus this summer after a flurry of complaints from parents thrust the beleaguered hospital into action.
The medical center, which has been criticized in the past for poorly maintained equipment and grounds that get flooded after storms in the three Henry Street play areas, says it will repair drainage and replace broken swings.
“We understand that families are sometimes frustrated, but we are addressing it,” said Jim Mandler, a spokesman for LICH. “Hopefully by the end of summer, the park will have gone through some renovation and be back in tip-top shape.”
Mandler said some of the renovation will require closing the park for a couple of days, so the work has been tentatively scheduled for August — a time of “lighter use.”
The repair job is just what parents have been looking for, but some say LICH’s track record leaves something to be desired.
Parents say the kid zones have been more jungle than jungle gym since the hospital won a protracted conflict in 1994 to build a 430-car garage on the site of Van Vorhees Park, at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street, in exchange for building and keeping up the three Henry Street playgrounds.
“They want to do is as little as possible — that’s clear,” said Jason Licht, a neighbor. He claimed that the hospital would never deal with rats, rundown equipment and a disagreeable stench from clogged drains if parents didn’t speak up.
“It’s a forgotten place that doesn’t exist if nobody complains about it,” he said.
The century-plus-old medical center is under pressure from more than parents. Last month, doctors and other staffers rallied to protest poor management by Continuum Partners, which operates the debt-riddled facility.