Dec. 8, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The Parks Department officially broke ground on the nearly $6 million renovation of Astoria Heights Playground this morning.
The renovation of the park, located on 30th Road between 45th and 46th Street, will update the entire site for the first time in over 20 years, according to the Parks Department. The overhaul was proposed in 2014 under the Mayor’s Community Parks Initiative, which aims to ensure that parks across the city are funded fairly.
“Breaking ground to fully transform Astoria Heights Playground represents the Mayor’s vision for a more equitable park system being realized,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver. “I’m thrilled to be here today to advance this project into construction, so Astorians can enjoy enhanced play and a greener park, right in their own backyard.”
The $5.8 million project will fully overhaul the park, bringing in new play equipment, repaving surfaces, adding an accessible ramp, expanding the track, and adding areas for tennis and volleyball.
The biggest change, however, will take effect during the summer months. The Parks Department decided to get rid of the mini pool that is usually in the park all summer, and will instead install a spray shower area with jets and sprinklers to cool kids off.
The comfort station will also be renovated, though that project is currently in procurement and construction will likely begin next spring.
“Improvements to our parks bring vital improvements to our neighborhoods. The new play equipment, spray shower, and ball playing areas will help Astoria Heights Playground better serve the surrounding community. The playground will continue to provide integral greenspace for families in Western Queens to enjoy,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides.
The Parks Department based the design for the playground on community feedback it received in visioning sessions and through surveys. The ultimate goals for the project that came out of the community input were to increase and upgrade active play capacity for the park, enhance environmental amenities at the site, and provide areas for passive use.
“Every New Yorker should have access to adequate park space and recreational opportunities for their families,” said Congressman Joe Crowley. “The renovation of Astoria Heights Playground is welcome news for a community that long pushed to see improvements at the heavily used playground,”
Though it is not clear when the park will be completed, renovations like this usually take between 12 and 18 months.