A piece of plywood several inches long with nails protruding from it blew onto the Battery Park City ice rink as children from P.S. 150 were skating last Thursday afternoon.
No one was injured but the rink managers cleared the ice in case any more material fell.
The city Buildings Dept. determined that the wood came from one of the two residential towers Milstein Properties is building adjacent to the rink and ballfields. The Buildings Dept. stopped work on the project and issued violations to contractor Plaza Construction. Work restarted at the site on Tuesday. Leticia Remauro, spokesperson for the B.P.C. Authority, said the wood came off the building in a sudden gust of wind that could not have been anticipated.
“That’s something that needs to be anticipated,” replied Linda Belfer, chairperson of Community Board 1’s B.P.C. Committee. “There’s no excuse.”
At the committee’s meeting Tuesday night, board member Tom Goodkind said he was afraid of more near misses near construction sites, after this accident and several accidents at the nearby Goldman Sachs tower. Goodkind questioned whether children should be playing on the rink or ballfields at all.
“This is a real concern for a lot of parents,” agreed Ian Sorkin, a member of the Downtown Soccer League board. “I’d rather put the rink out than have a child put out.”
Other board members, though, said they did not want to unduly scare children away from one of Lower Manhattan’s few large recreation spaces. The ice rink is only open for another two weeks, and by the time Little League season starts, Milstein’s residential towers should be fully enclosed, Remauro said.
A Milstein Properties spokesperson referred questions to Plaza Construction, which did not comment.
— Julie Shapiro