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Demolition delayed at psych center site

Demolition of more than a dozen buildings at the old Kings Park psychiatric hospital has been delayed about a month because the company hired for the job needs more to time to complete another project, the contractor and state officials said Monday.

But state parks officials and a spokesman for the Indiana firm say the Kings Park demolition, slated to be completed by November 2013, could be finished months earlier than expected.

Razing 15 abandoned buildings at the former hospital is a key part of an effort to upgrade the site, which became Nissequogue River State Park in 2000, four years after the hospital closed.

Parks officials now expect demolition to start at the beginning of July, said Brian X. Foley, deputy state parks regional director. Officials had hoped the demolition would begin next month or in June.

Foley said officials are not worried about the delay. "It's not substantially later by any means," he said.

National Salvage & Service Corp., of Bloomington, Ind., needs more time to finish a job in New Jersey before it begins the Kings Park demolition, said Tim Chastain, the firm's marketing director. The company this year won a $6.4 million contract to tear down Kings Park buildings such as maintenance and power facilities, a boathouse and the morgue.

The New Jersey project is "a little bit behind . . . from where we thought we would be," said Chastain, adding the job's completion was delayed by "a multitude of things."

The delay of the Kings Park demolition is expected to be offset by the company's projections that it can finish taking down the buildings by early next year.

"I think our schedule says we can get it done in six to seven months," Chastain said, adding, "We expect a very clean and organized project."

Michael Rosato, chairman of the Nissequogue River State Park Foundation, a community group that supports beautification projects at the park, said the demolition "is a large and complex project, so it's no surprise that the start date has been delayed by a couple of months."

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