Monday, April 1, 2019

Roosevelt Island Dads Playing With Kids Kicked Off Closed Octagon Soccer Field Yesterday and Issued Trespassing Summonses By PSD - Sign RIRA Petition To Save Roosevelt Island Playing Fields For Residents - When Will Octagon Field Open?

Yesterday afternoon, 2 Roosevelt Island dads and their kids were playing soccer on the closed and fenced in Octagon Field.

Image From RIOC

They were playing until stopped by eight Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Officers, removed from the field and the 2 dads were issued summonses for trespassing.

I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal and Public Safety Deputy Director Kevin Brown:
Any update on why the parents were given summonses for being on The Octagon field yesterday.

Why was a warning not given first and why were 8 PSD officers sent.
Deputy Director Brown replied today:
On Sunday, we had 8 people trespassing on Octagon field. Two adults and six youths were discovered playing soccer on the Octagon field. There was damage to the brackets which are keeping the Octagon field fence closed (PSD did not witness the damage). The two adults were issued summonses for trespassing and escorted off the field. An E- ticket was processed to fix the fence which was damaged. Signs are posted on the fencing that entering will be trespassing.
Roosevelt Island residents, parents, kids and adults have been frustrated for a very long time with the lack of available playing fields

Image From RIRA

caused by the permitting of fields to outside groups such as Zog Sports

Image From RIRA

as well as the long delayed renovation of currently closed Octagon Field.

The same day that the Roosevelt Island parents were being summonsed for Trespass at the Octagon Field, Firefighters Field was being used by what appeared to be an outside permitted group (though not confirmed they were permitted).

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) has started:
with 1262 signatures so far to date.

According to the RIRA Petition:
RIOC is no longer leaving our playing fields open for the residents of Roosevelt Island. RIOC is now permitting ALL our fields against the interest of our community at the expense of Island children, adults and families.

Image From RIRA

RIOC never included Islanders in the planning and conversations about the Octagon field that includes a 10-foot fence encircling the field requiring the removal of 11 big, old, healthy, shade trees. RIOC's plan completely ignores and disregards Roosevelt Island Arbor Foundation’s designation as a “Tree City USA”.

Action Petitioned For:

OPEN PLAY, PERMIT-FREE hours after school and on the weekends at Octagon field and other playing fields. Keep Octagon field FENCE FREE. RIOC NOT CUT the trees. Reduce permitting to Off Island groups, limiting the hours to late evenings when our children don't use the field.
Click here to sign the RIRA Save Our Playing Fields Petition.

Roosevelt Island elected officials, NY State Senator Jose Serrano, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright and NYC Council Member Ben Kallos have become involved with the playing field issue.

According to Ms Seawright's March 15 newsletter:

 Image From Assembly Member Seawright

Seawright convenes Meeting with members of RI’s Fields Committee to address issues of concern regarding permitting practices and proposed fencing at RI fields. Representatives from Senator Serrano and Council member Kallos’ offices were in attendance. All three elected representatives pledged to continue to work together with the residents and have already sent a letter to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation. 
Below is a recent exchange of letters between State Senator Serrano

Serrano Letter On Roosevelt.

RIOC President Rosenthal

and Senator Serrano, Assembly Member Seawright and Council Member Kallos
Dear Ms. Rosenthal,

Thank you for your prompt response to my letter regarding public access to Roosevelt Island’s playing fields. After receiving your response, we have met with the other Roosevelt Island elected officials and the Roosevelt Island Fields Task Force regarding this issue.

We appreciate your willingness to review pending permits at Capobianco Field in order to potentially provide additional public hours for open play, and would like to request an update on the status of your review. In addition, we would like to schedule a meeting with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation regarding public access to the currently available soccer field, Firefighters Field, as well as plans for future access to the renovated Octagon Field.

Roosevelt Island’s fields are critical to the vibrant soccer culture on the Island, and for years have provided essential recreational opportunities for its residents. We look forward to meeting with RIOC to gain a better understanding of current policies and procedures, and to work together toward a beneficial agreement for all stakeholders. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. If you would like to further discuss this with me, please feel free to contact my office at (212) 828-5829.
regarding the playing fields issue.

During the RIOC March 7 RIOC Board of Directors meeting, Project Manager Prince Shah describes the Octagon Field renovation project.

Below is March 6 RIOC memo supporting renovation of the Octagon Field:
Octagon Sports Field, which is located on the northern part of the Island, is an outdoor soccer field, used by the community on a daily basis and is one of the most popular fields on Roosevelt Island. Octagon Sports Field was last renovated in 2010 and is currently in a state of disrepair. RIOC hired Abel Bainnson and Butz LLP (ABB) for the design of the new turf field, surrounding fixtures and facilities including comfort stations, seating, security features, and lighting design.

Under their design contract ABB evaluated the existing field, comfort station and lighting levels and provided design services from early design phase to full bid set documents. These bid set documents were used to publish a construction Request for Proposal for the project on February 7, 2019 with a Bid deadline of March 1, 2019 at 2 PM.
RIOC did not receive any bids by the due date and time deadline. A late bid was received which was disqualified due to its lateness and incompleteness. Since no bids were received; the current field poses a safety hazard and the field is critical to satisfy the needs of the community, RIOC seeks to move forward with the field renovation. With warmer weather approaching, the field has the potential of becoming a dangerous attraction if it is not timely repaired. As such, RIOC would like to directly procure a synthetic turf product installer from the list of approved single-source manufacturers of synthetic turf with specifications that were included as part of the RFP bid documents.

The scope of work in this request is for the purpose of installing the synthetic turf and opening the field to the public only. The comfort station, surrounding site fixtures, pathways, seating and site lighting will be a part of another RFP that will be posted later this month (March, 2019).


RIOC contacted The Landtek Group Inc. who are approved installers of the Field Turf product for a proposal. Landtek previously inspected the field and has familiarity with this project and RIOC’s operations. Landtek’s proposal for $1,246,800 includes installation of the synthetic turf including new drainage, ball control fencing, soccer goals, field groomer equipment and RIOC staff training for the upkeep of the field. Landtek’s proposal adequately aligns with the original ABB estimate for the construction of this portion of the project, as well as with the price Landtek quoted to the disqualified general contractor that submitted the late bid.


Based on the above, I recommend, subject to the satisfaction of all contracting requirements, that the Board of Directors approve entering into a contract with The Landtek Group Inc. for the purpose of providing construction services for the Octagon Synthetic Turf Field Project for a total amount of $1,246,800 with a 15% contingency of $187,020 bringing the total authorized not-to-exceed amount to $1,433,820 for a contract term of 6 months from the date of commencement.
Mr Shah told the RIOC Board that the Octagon Field is expected to open before the Fall of 2019.

Click here to sign the RIRA Save Our Playing Fields Petition.