By John Burton
MARLBORO – The 100 structures on the long-closed Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital are to be torn down with state, county and local officials moving forward to use the site as a Monmouth County public park and preserved as open space.
Senator Joseph Kyrillos and Assembly members Amy H. Handlin and Declan J. O’Scanlon, Jr., Republicans representing the 13th District, and Marlboro Mayor John Hornik announced the plans to finally proceed with making the property available as a park.
The former hospital was located on 411 acres and operated for 57 years, closing on 1998. Since then the property has languished, though officials have indicated for the past 16 years that the site would eventually be preserved for recreational use.
Work recently began remove brush and debris. Demolition and environmental remediation are expected to take about 15 months, according to the legislators.
Plans call for the property to be conveyed to the county upon fulfillment of the outstanding debt service. The state Division of Law is drafting a memorandum of understanding for the care of the property.
Along with the park use, the state Department of Treasury’s Division of Property Management and Construction will oversee the building of two group homes for the state Department of Human Services in the southeast portion of the property. The homes are intended for developmental disabled; each home will accommodate six residents and staff.
“We finally realize the open space possibility that this large tract of no longer used land possesses, Handlin said in a released statement.
“The future of the hospital property has been important to Marlboro and we are very excited about the next step in the creation of a county park,” Hornik said.