U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Dan Donovan and Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced $4,323,626 in federal funding for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to rebuild Staten Island’s John D’Amato Field, which was damaged as a result of Superstorm Sandy. The destroyed field was located in a flood zone along the shoreline. The new multi-sports facility and field will be built approximately 7.5 miles away from the former location to Fairview Park, off of Englewood Avenue on Staten Island. The funding has been authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The project is currently in the design stage.
“John D’Amato was not only a friend of mine, he was also a goodhearted Staten Islander committed to his community, and this brand new field will appropriately preserve his memory. I am pleased that FEMA has finally provided the federal funding that NYC Parks needs to build John D’Amato field in a new location. The new field will be away from the waterfront and therefore, better protected in the event of a future storm,” said Senator Schumer. “This federal funding is good news for all those who knew John D’Amato and good news for all of Staten Island!”
“Superstorm Sandy devastated our communities and this critical FEMA funding will help provide resources on the ground to renovate the damaged John D’Amato Field on Staten Island,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Restoring these public spaces is a critical part of our ongoing recovery, and these federal funds are an investment in the community and families that live on Staten Island. Finally, we’ll be able to rebuild the field named after a true advocate on behalf of Staten Island.”
“I’m so proud to announce funding to rebuild the field dedicated in remembrance of my dear friend and Msgr. Farrell classmate, John D’Amato. It’s fitting to John’s memory that Staten Island athletes will enjoy a new D’Amato field for years to come. Thank you to FEMA and the NYC Parks Department for their work,” said Rep. Donovan.
“John D’Amato Field is named for a Staten Islander who was deeply committed to his community and its future – and this new field will continue to honor that legacy,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Over $4.3 million from FEMA will allow us to rebuild a sports facility and field that can better withstand future extreme weather. I’m grateful to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, Congressman Donovan, and all of our federal partners as we continue to build a stronger and more resilient New York City.”
“We thank Senators Schumer and Gillibrand and Congressman Donovan for advocating for Staten Island parks and parks citywide,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “With the support of Mayor de Blasio we are creating a more resilient New York City for all and this funding will help us give a crucial amenity back to a community that lost so much during Hurricane Sandy.”
John D’Amato field was named for the late Staten Island attorney and athlete John D’Amato (1955-2007). D’Amato practiced law on Staten Island where he advocated for the New Dorp High School Law Program. The field was dedicated to John D’Amato in 2011.
Superstorm Sandy damaged the multi-sport facility and synthetic turf field when it was inundated and flooded with saltwater. The synthetic turf was pulled and torn from the underlayment, eventually settling in a crumpled mound along the field proximal to New Dorp Lane. The turf was irreparably damaged and could not salvaged. The flood waters also carried sand and debris which settled into the gravel compromising the drainage system.