Local asphalt workers, truckers and surveyors will be hired by an Indiana company that has won a $6.4 million state contract to tear down abandoned buildings at the former Kings Park psychiatric hospital, state officials said Friday.
National Salvage & Service Corp. of Bloomington, Ind., is expected to employ about 65 people to demolish 15 buildings and other structures at the 500-acre hospital site, state officials said. But they didn't know how many of those jobs would go to local workers.
Local subcontractors will be hired for work such as security, surveying, and removing asbestos and hazardous material, said state parks Long Island regional director Ronald Foley.
"We don't know how many people until they get a handle on it," he said.
National Salvage officials could not say Friday how many local workers might be hired. The company will subcontract 20 percent of the work to businesses owned by minorities and women, including some on Long Island, state parks officials said.
State Sen. John J. Flanagan (R-East Northport), in a statement released by the state parks office, said he was "eager to work with the parks administration and the contractor to make sure . . . that every attempt to hire workers from the immediate area will be made."
Kings Park community activists said hiring a demolition contractor showed the state was committed to improving Nissequogue River State Park, which occupies one-third of the former hospital site.
"They're going to continue to move forward with this property and not get rid of it," said Linda Henninger, who runs The Park Advocate website. "This is exciting. We should celebrate today."
Mike Rosato, chairman of the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, said, "It seems like everything went according to plan."
National Salvage beat 19 other firms with a bid far below the $15 million allocated by the state for the demolition.
Demolition is expected to begin in May and should be finished by November 2013, state officials said. Among the buildings to be torn down are maintenance and power facilities, a boathouse, a dairy barn and the morgue.
Many structures contain asbestos, officials have said.
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said in a statement the demolition would "bring visible improvements in the safety and security risks at the Kings Park Psychiatric Center site."
Additional structures scheduled for demolition at former Kings Park Psychiatric Center:
Salt storage shed
Buckman Day Treatment Center
Concrete railroad piers
Smokestack at closed power plant