An undeveloped piece of land on the Bronx Psychiatric Center’s grounds that has been used by area little leagues for the past 40 years is slated for the housing of mentally impaired individuals.
The ball field currently used by the Parkchester Little League of Waters Place, next to exit 2 off the Hutchinson River Parkway, will be moved to the rear of the state property, in a contract expected to be put out to bid sometime this spring.
Rising in its place will be a development that consists of a residential village catering to those suffering from mental illness.
“The Bronx Psychiatric Center and Bronx Children’s Psychiatric Center are 60-year-old buildings in great need of repair and update,” said Jill Daniels, spokeswoman for the New York State Office of Mental Health. “The BPC redevelopment consists of five new buildings, including a residential village, an adult psychiatric center, and children’s psychiatric center.”
Daniels said that the residential village would include transitional housing, a crisis residence, crisis stabilization housing, and single room occupancy units.
Due to the addition of all these facilities to the campus, a relocation of the ball fields used by the Parkchester Little League and others over the years will be necessary.
“It is really going to hurt a lot of the families that are part of Parkchester league because so many of the children arrive by public transportation, which is close to Waters Place,” said Dean Ricks, president of the Parkchester little league. “We fought for 50 years and finally got the national Little League to build us a t-ball field and to redesign our current field under the Urban Initiatives Program.”
Ricks said his main problem with the move of the fields is that BPC is refusing to acknowledge the t-ball field that was constructed at the site –leaving them without a second field for younger children, and is not willing to build a field with working bathrooms and a concession stand with electricity.
“If we have to walk almost a mile to the other end of the BPC facility to get to our field, I don’t think parents will stick with us,” Ricks said.