62° Good Morning
62° Good Morning
Long IslandSuffolk

Town, civic association fund major renovations at Gordon Heights Children's Park

Tracy Gibbs, left, Judy Clarke, center, and Savion

Tracy Gibbs, left, Judy Clarke, center, and Savion Jamison, 8, join James Freeman, right, president of the Gordon Heights Civic Association. The group holds up a diagram of the proposed changed for Gordon Heights Children's Park on Sunday, July 12, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

Renovations including new bathrooms, lighting, mounds on the baseball field and landscaping that are expected to cost $120,000 are underway at Gordon Heights Children's Park.

Brookhaven Town will provide about $115,000 toward the renovations, while the Greater Gordon Heights Civic Association will foot the remainder, civic leaders and town officials said.

The work, started two weeks ago, is expected to be completed next month.

Additional upgrades include new grass, signs, fencing, basketball courts, a canopy and playground equipment, said E. James Freeman, 49, the association's president.

Freeman, who said he has worked the past few years to provide more recreation for youths in the community, praised the town administration for providing the funds. He said previous Brookhaven administrations were not as supportive of the park and it deteriorated.

"We've been scraping and clawing for grants and town support," Freeman said. "We want the same benefits that all other Brookhaven communities are receiving. We want to be on the same playing field."

Town Councilwoman Connie Kepert, who represents the hamlet, said the improvements were needed.

"We have to invest in new equipment primarily for the kids, and to add park attractions. It gives them positive things to do," she said.

While praising the town for its support, Freeman said Brookhaven spent about $2 million to renovate the Medford Athletic Complex on Horseblock Road in Medford in 2011. He said the town will spend at least another $1 million toward constructing a park in Selden that is in the design phase.

"The [Gordon Heights] community has been overlooked for quite some time," Freeman said. He said that Coram, Yaphank and Middle Island residents use his park.

Brookhaven officials confirmed the costs of the Medford and Selden parks, but said they are considered regional athletic facilities built for larger crowds, while Gordon Heights Children's Park is a small community park.

Ed Morris, Brookhaven Town's parks commissioner, also pointed out that the town has recently spent $2 million to construct a turf field, practice facility with lighting, bathrooms and utilities at Granny Road Park in Gordon Heights.

"There's a difference between a small park and a huge athletic facility that hundreds of people visit every day," Morris said.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News