Nothing was more welcoming than the smile of Jack McManus. A staunch supporter of youth sports and beloved Chief of the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department from 2013 to 2019, you could always count on seeing Jack enthusiastically greet the soccer players he coached on the field that now bears his name.
With the opening of the McManus Field Welcome Station, we hope that there will, once again, be a steadfast welcoming presence on a field that Jack loved so much.
Originally built in 1994, the $5.4M renovated McManus Field Welcome Station, designed by landscape architects, Abel Bainnson & Butz and building architects, Jack L. Gordon Architects, offers artful and energy-efficient upgrades that transform the dated comfort station and surrounding area into an inviting, accessible, and holistic focal point.
The most notable enhancement to the building is the 2,000 square foot green roof covered in a mix of sedum plants. This roof has already begun to serve as a habitat for natural wildlife, increasing local biodiversity. It will mitigate storm water by retaining rainfall and acting as a filtration system that will help purify and evaporate rainwater before it reaches sewers. Additionally, it will provide shade, reduce urban heat, improve air quality, and extend the life of the roof by protecting it from extreme temperatures and direct ultraviolet radiation.
The building and surrounding area are now completely ADA accessible and include an expanded communal area with added picnic tables and natural seating created from existing stones, allowing approximately 150 individuals to enjoy the area where, previously, only 20 would be accommodated. Recycled wood that sustainably and visually relates to the surrounding recreational green space clads the exterior. The incorporation of natural elements continues with the addition of over 1300 shrubs, new trees, ornamental grasses, and perennials that together shape a lush, 8,000 square foot urban oasis.
Area pathways have been improved for safer travel while drinking fountains, an irrigation system, and storage for field grooming equipment have been added. Concessions are expected to open in the fall of 2021.