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Astoria Heights Playground Closed For $5.2M Overhaul

By Ilija Sekulovski

The Astoria Heights Park on 46th Street, between 30th and 31st Avenues is set for a year long hiatus, as it receives a $5.2M overhaul. In more than 20 years the park hadn’t seen so much as a replacement bench, and now it’s set to get quite the makeover.

Last Thursday the construction project was commenced by officials and community leaders. Part of the new features the park will get will be; new play equipment, sports courts, picnic tables, spray showers and more.

The park has seen its fair share of problems. Parents who frequent the park with their children have been campaigning since 2013 for the renovations. They’ve had to put up with cracked pavement, faulty drains which flood in the rains, and more. The gloomy look wasn’t much to go on for fun and activities.

schematic-for-astoria-heights-jhs10-playground-reconstruction

Other changes will include; replacement of the park’s mini pool, three playground areas for children of all ages, the new sports courts will also be able to be used for volleyball or baseball, even tennis. Grass lawns and new trees are also going up. The bathrooms will be reconstructed and an adult fitness area put in.

DNA Info who reported on the story talked to Lynn Kennedy, the head of Friends of Astoria Heights Park, who also spearheaded the campaign. She said,

“How we got started three years ago was about wanting equity and wanting the same thing that other parks have….Just to have a safe and beautiful space that we could be in.”

What do you think of the Astoria Heights Park renovations? 

The designs for the new park were based on multiple surveys which local residents filled out, according to Mitchel Silver, Parks Commissioner who stated that the city cared for the smaller parks as much as it did for larger ones like Central park.

The $5.2 Million was thanks to many agencies and elected officials. Councilman Costa Constantinides was among them, along with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. The City’s Community Parks Initiative helps target smaller parks. Especially those in more densely populated neighborhoods.

The goal of the park is to really make it for everyone, and all generations. Something that will be able to last and be used by anyone. Seeing as the construction process is more than likely to take a year, the park will remain closed for the entire time with construction looking to finish May 2018.

Luckily, the Friends of Astoria Heights group are planning indoor activities and events in other places so as to keep the community close and up to date.

*Featued Image Via Jeanmarie Evelly/DNAinfo

 

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