Islip is fast-tracking the construction of a spray park in Brentwood after learning lessons from the delays in the opening of the Roberto Clemente Park pool, officials said.
The town board scheduled a special meeting last Thursday to award the contract to build the $2.4 million spray park next to the Olympic-size pool at Roberto Clemente Park.
“We picked up two weeks having learned from our experience having the pool open," Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter said. "You just never know the contingencies you’re going to hit, if you can pick up two weeks here and there. … I would like to see it open next summer."
The pool was shuttered for five summer seasons because of budget cuts and an illegal dumping scheme. The opening was further delayed last October when workers found weather-related damage to the pools’ walls. It officially opened Aug. 18, with officials organizing a celebration nine days later.
The 7,100-square-foot spray park will boast 30 water features, including its own filtration system. It will also be accessible for people with disabilities and for people of all ages, officials said.
Norberto Construction Inc., based in Commack, won the contract to build the park modeled after the Shipwreck Cove in Bay Shore.
“The spray park in Bay Shore has been such a popular attraction,” Carpenter said. "People really love it. If you pass by it in the summer, it is jam packed.”
Assemb. Phil Ramos (D-Brentwood) secured $2 million in state funding for the park. Islip will pick up the remainder of the tab, Carpenter said.
Anthony Norberto, vice president of Norberto Construction Inc., said the spray park in Brentwood will be completed by the spring.
Carpenter said she felt "euphoric" watching more than 700 residents enjoy the renovated pool during the town's grand opening Aug. 27. The new spray park will take the park to "another level." She acknowledged how problems that plagued the park were frustrating.
"It really was a black eye to the entire town," Carpenter said. "We are past that now. ... It is going to be a very true sense of fulfillment for the promises I made when I came here to the town three years ago. I knew I had a dilemma at Clemente to resolve. We have lived up to our promises to the community."
Marcos Maldonado, first vice president of the nonprofit Uplift Brentwood, said a new spray park is a bonus for the community that waited so long for the park and pool to reopen.
“Brentwood residents deserve no less than any other Islip residents,” Maldonado said. “They deserve facilities. They deserve representation that is responsive to their needs and concerns. The park is open. The main pool is open. Anything else is just icing on the cake.”
Maldonado added the community will be increasingly vigilant to make sure “the park never ends up the way it did before again.”
Roberto Clemente Park spray park
- 7,100 square feet
- designed for all ages and people with disabilities
- 30 water features
- zero-depth entry splash pad
- two age-appropriate pool areas
- nearby seating