- Coney Island Hospital's application for $738 million of new construction and renovations has been advanced to the next stage at The New York Department of Health Public Health and Health Planning Council's Committee on Establishment and Project Review, which will consider the project at its Oct. 11 meeting, according to Crain's New York Business.
- If approved, work at the New York City Health and Hospitals facility will include a new 11-story, 350,000-square-foot Critical Services Structure with a flood-resistant emergency department; the demolition of one 108-year-old patient care building and an 84-year-old engineering building, both of which sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy; partial renovations of the main hospital and a second patient care structure and flood mitigation features to protect the hospital complex from flooding events and natural disasters. The 371-bed hospital will lose 20 beds to construction, and acute and behavioral care will be consolidated into two buildings.
- The project approval is contingent upon payment of fees, submission of state hospital code and other drawings and the resolution of four design issues. Hospital officials must also complete the project within five years, start construction by Dec. 10, and complete construction by April 3, 2023. The hospital project, as well as other Sandy-related repairs, is partially funded with $927 million of a $1.4 billion Federal Emergency Management Agency grant.
Even though Sandy rolled through New York and New Jersey back in 2012, public and private property owners in those states are still trying to repair damage caused by the storm, and FEMA is a major source of recovery funding. Just last month, FEMA awarded a $1.1 million grant to New Jersey so that the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission is able to repair facilities still not fully operational after the storm. In fact, the agency has a hand in repairs for years after natural disasters strike.
In New Orleans, FEMA funds are still helping to fund repairs for damage caused by 2005's Hurricane Katrina. The city, however, is behind on that work, completing only 20% of a $2.4 billion program funded by the agency since receiving a FEMA settlement back in 2016.
The cleanup and construction work necessary after a natural disaster provides opportunities for contractors in two ways. First, the agency contracts directly with construction companies and other firms to make emergency repairs and remove debris after an event. Second, as in New Jersey and New Orleans, the agency awards money to state and local agencies, and those entities hire contractors through their standard procurement processes.
The financial prospects for construction companies can be huge in these circumstances. Last year Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and surrounding areas, causing a reported $200 billion in property damage. But something has to give, especially since many Houston-area contractors had healthy backlogs of work prior to the storm. In March of this year, city officials put a portion of Houston's capital program on hold because of the money it will take to make post-Harvey repairs during the next five years.