The long-delayed opening of Brooklyn’s most expensive field house, which was supposed to happen before Christmas, has been — wait for it — delayed again.
The city says that Hurricane Sandy is responsible for the latest setback to the $16-million Carmine Carro Field house in Marine Park, a one-story building that is taking as long to construct as One World Trade Center, the world’s tallest building now going up in Manhattan.
“In general, capital projects across the city were momentarily put on hold so that we could concentrate our efforts on safety issues,” said Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor. “After the hurricane, it was all hands on deck for recovery efforts.”
But park-goers who have grown tired of delay after delay in construction of a fieldhouse that has seen its cost increase from $6.5-million since construction began in 2008 say this is just the latest excuse from an agency that simply can’t get the job done.
“I don’t believe they’re on the level,” said Marine Park resident John Manzola. “I think it’s just an incompetent department that doesn’t know how to build things and get them done on time. They just write their own pay checks.”
Others are giving the city the benefit of the doubt, arguing that the city had a lot to deal with after the super storm struck.
“There was a lot of tree damage, there were probably some dangerous situations in the park, and as far as how they were operating, they were doing coverage and helping out in other areas,” said Marine Park Civic Association president Jim Ivaliotis. “Their operation got screwed up and as far as people doing work, the construction people, I would say at times they couldn’t stick to the plan they had because of what happened.”
The Marine Park Field House is considered by some to be Southern Brooklyn’s biggest boondoggle — especially compared to much bigger projects, including the so-called Freedom Tower.
The Marine Park building is on track to cost taxpayers about $5,000 a square foot, while Manhattan’s 104-story skyscraper will fetch $1,456 a square foot.
The field house is named for beloved civic leader Carmine Carro, who pushed for it’s construction since 1990. He died in 2005.Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn