Nassau County has revived plans for a new laboratory to test the strength of asphalt, steel and other materials used in county buildings, and will locate the facility at the Mitchel Field complex in Garden City.
The $2.5 million lab will be on vacant county land at Avenue R and Eighth Street behind the Long Island Children's Museum, said Mary Studdert, county public works spokeswoman.
Nassau is seeking reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for the lab, which will replace a county building destroyed in superstorm Sandy.StoryCounty considers new spot for $2.5M labLetterLetter: Leave green space in Eisenhower ParkStoryNassau to build $2.5M testing lab in park
In August, the county announced plans to build the 5,300-square-foot lab behind public works maintenance buildings in Eisenhower Park.
But County Executive Edward Mangano backed away from the plan after legislative Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), whose district includes Eisenhower Park, complained the park was not an appropriate site for the lab because it was not a park use.
Other sites in Hicksville and at the Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant in Wantagh are too small, Studdert said.
Mitchel Field "was determined to be the most cost-effective, centrally located site that would allow for the construction," she added.
Gonsalves said she would "carefully review the new proposal to make sure the location is a good fit."
Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury), whose district includes Mitchel Field, said the lab "will provide essential services for Nassau County. However, I would like to be reassured that there would be no harmful environmental impact to the area."
Nassau officials have said the building materials pose no health or environmental risk.
The one-story lab will contain offices for five employees and be used to test and inspect rebar, asphalt, concrete, wire and paint for county projects.
The lab will not test for hazardous substances, such as asbestos and mold. Nassau outsources that work to J.C. Broderick & Associates in Hauppauge, a private vendor.
The county testing lab was in a small building outside the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant in East Rockaway. The plant, located in a 100-year flood plain, was flooded with 91/2 feet of water during Sandy and was knocked out of service for 57 days after the 2012 storm.
The county issued a request for proposals last month for private contractors to build the lab; three firms responded.
The county plans to select a firm within the next few weeks. Construction is expected to begin in May and be completed within a year.