Parks Department issues new request for bids for Ferry Point comfort

Pictured is an artist's rendering of the comfort station.

After years of waiting, and one “request for proposals” that would not flush, it now looks like Ferry Point Park West may finally be getting its comfort station.

The $2 million dollar project, which was originally awarded to a builder who asked to be let out of his contract in September 2011, will be put out to bid again very soon, said a Parks Department spokesperson.

The project needs to get under way as soon as possible because between 5,000 and 8,000 people come to the park during the spring and summer to use the synthetic soccer field and other parts of the park, said Dotti Poggi of the Friends of Ferry Point Park.

“We are finalizing design changes to the building and hope to advertise for contractor bids in the late spring,” said the Parks Department spokesperson.

The intent is to construct a new year-round comfort station, including a storage room for park equipment. The building site is located close to the existing recreation fields and the proposed playground for the west side of Ferry Point Park, said the spokesperson.

“The building would be integrated into the park design and the surrounding features, based on Park’s design master plan for the west side of Ferry Point Park,” the spokesperson said.

During the construction of Ferry Point Park’s soccer field, the water supply to the park’s west side was inadvertently damaged or turned off.

“We would like to know if this new Request for Proposals includes pipes to make the toilets flush,” Poggi said. “We don’t want just a bathroom to be built, but a bathroom that works. We want it to flush.”

Other than one water fountain and a hydrant that are apparently operating on a different water main, no water supply is available for the west side of Ferry Point Park, even though during the construction of the soccer field misters were installed that would keep the field’s surface cool in hot weather, Poggi said.

“It has been proven that synthetic surface fields give off heat when they get hot,” Poggi said. “That’s why they have misters, which we have been unable to use.”

Without a working comfort station, people using the recreation facilities relieve themselves in the wooded areas, creating a messy and unsanitary situation, Poggi said.

The Parks spokesperson did not respond to questions about the water supply in on the west side of the park directly, other than to say that when complete there would be a working comfort station.

“I feel very strongly that this is taking far too long,” said Community Board 10 Parks Committee chairwoman Virginia Gallagher of the comfort station project. “But the money is in the budget.”

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