Senator Johnson Helps Break Ground At Brentwood State Park

Owen H. Johnson

August 19, 2008

State Senator Owen Johnson (4th Senate District, Babylon) today joined New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Carol Ash, State Senator Caesar Trunzo (3rd Senate District) and hundreds of energized members of the Brentwood community to break ground on a multi-million dollar plan that will dramatically expand and improve athletic facilities at Brentwood State Park.

The project to build the “Brentwood State Park Athletic Complex” will be funded in part by a $6.5 million grant secured by Senators Johnson and Trunzo.  It is part of a $132 million initiative to revitalize state parks approved by Governor David A. Paterson and the Legislature this year.

"There's a proverb that says that ‘good things come to those who wait,'" noted Senator Owen H. Johnson. "The people of the Brentwood community have no doubt waited for a quality outdoor recreation area that they can be proud of to call their own. With today's groundbreaking, we're that much closer to the day when our children will be playing sports at the state-of-the-art Brentwood Athletic Complex. I want to thank my colleague, Senator Caesar Trunzo, and all the dedicated members of the community who rallied with me behind this project from day one. I also want to thank Governor Paterson, Commissioner Ash and Regional Director Foley for all their work in seeing this project through. Together, we have proven that good things do come to those who wait."

When finished, the Brentwood Athletic Complex will be the culmination of years of hard work on the part of Senators Johnson and Trunzo who, together, spearheaded the initial effort to create the 52-acre State Park.  The land on which the park now sits was originally part of the Pilgrim Psychiatric Center Property. Johnson and Trunzo encouraged state officials to have this land transferred from the Dormitory Authority to the State Parks Department so that, ultimately, the athletic complex could be built.

"So many people worked long and hard on this plan for a ‘Field of Dreams' in Brentwood only to have their enthusiasm deflated when the funding was vetoed in 2006," said Senator Trunzo. "I'm just thrilled that we were successful in getting this money back. Everyone in Brentwood has reason to celebrate now."

"It is thrilling to see the progress we have made at this athletic complex. We waited so long and we thank all of the state representatives who have been involved in seeing this project come to fruition. Our kids cannot wait to play on these magnificent fields," said Violette Smith, President of the Brentwood Athletic Complex.

Construction will begin this year on eight of 18 planned soccer fields; two of four baseball fields; a maintenance building, which will include storage, food concession space and restrooms; and an announcer's building, which will have storage for the baseball fields as well as a small concession area. One soccer field and one baseball field will have lighting. Work will also commence on a restroom facility that later will be connected to the park's main building.

At the same time, design work is moving ahead on the second phase of the project, which will consist of the remaining ten soccer fields, two baseball fields and the remainder of the main building - which will be attached to restrooms constructed in Phase I. The main building will have offices for the park as well as the soccer and baseball organizations, assembly space and storage. The total cost of the multi-year project is estimated at $15 million.