This hospital is on the up-and-up!
Coney Island Hospital leaders on Thursday gathered with locals and pols to officially break ground on the medical center’s forthcoming tower, which, along with a new flood wall going up on the campus, will ensure doctors can provide care to Southern Brooklynites for decades to come, according to a Canarsie congressman.
“The wonderful thing about Coney Island Hospital, and this new center, is that it will continue to bring to light first-rate, high-quality healthcare for the people who live in the neighborhoods along the Coney Island peninsula,” said Rep. Hakeem Jefferies.
The tower rising at the site of a former hospital parking lot at 2619 Ocean Pkwy., and the four-foot flood wall that will surround the facility’s Sheepshead Bay campus, are part of a $923-million job funded by cash that officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded Coney Island Hospital back in 2014, roughly two years after superstorm Sandy ravaged the site in 2012.
The multi-million-dollar project is worth every penny, according to another federal pol who advocated for the funding, who said the new infrastructure will go a long way toward securing the hospital — and its patients — during future extreme weather.
“When it comes to emergency preparedness, nothing is more critical than making sure our hospitals are resilient enough to weather the strongest storms,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer.
The new building will rise 11 stories, but include only 10 floors, the fifth of which will be double height and feature mechanical equipment, according to Coney Island Hospital reps. The rest of its second through tenth floors will feature services including a new emergency department, an X-ray facility, computerized tomography and magnetic-resonance-imaging scanners, a pharmacy, and labs, the reps said.
Workers intend to finish erecting the tower and part of the wall in early 2022, before starting some demolition work at the site — which will include destroying the hospital’s Hammett Pavilion, whose patient beds and Behavioral Health Clinic will move to spaces within the existing medical center and the new tower — in order to finish the wall by the middle of 2023, according to hospital reps.
Coney Island’s councilman cheered the start of construction, saying the first shovels to hit the dirt for the job kicked off a new era of medical care for locals.
“This groundbreaking is symbolic,” said Mark Treyger. “It is not just about physical infrastructure. This is about the love and commitment to wonderful people here in Southern Brooklyn.”