May 11, 2015 By Michael Florio
A significant revamp to a popular Astoria playground is expected to begin in the fall of 2016.
Astoria Heights Playground, located on 30th Road between 45th and 46th streets, will be undergoing a $3.3 million overhaul starting fall of 2016, according to the Parks Dept.
The Parks Dept. plans to add new equipment and change the layout of the adult and children’s sections of the playground.
On the lower level of the park, designed for children, there will be new playground equipment specifically for children aged 2-5 years; and a separate section with new play equipment for children aged between 5-12 years, according the Parks Dept.
Other changes to the lower level include removing the pool and replacing it with an elaborate spray shower. The spray shower will be surrounded by a seating area, located next to the ramp that connects the lower and upper levels of the park, said Meghan Lalor, a spokeswoman for the Parks Dept.
“The work out equipment, which is located near the playground, will be moved to the upper level,” said Lynn Kennedy, the founder of the Friends of Astoria Heights Park. “There will also be a painted track on the upper level.”
A multiple purpose sports field will be coming to the upper level that can be used for tennis, baseball and other sports. It will be located next to the workout equipment, according to the Parks Dept.
Additionally, there will be trees added to increase shade and enhance the beauty of the park.
These plans were presented to Community Board 1’s Park Committee on April 30th, and were well received, according to Lalor. The next step is for the Parks Depart. to go over the plan with the Public Design Commission, which is expected to sign off on it next month.
Lalor said that the renovations will take roughly a year to complete. She said the park will be closed for one year in order for the renovations to be completed all at once.
The renovations will cost more than $3.3 million, according to the Parks Dept, with $1.1 million being allocated from Councilman Costa Constantinides’ office; $500,000 from Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s office; and $1.2 million coming from the de Blasio administration’s Community Park Initiative (CPI) program, which is investing $130 million to rebuild 35 parks around New York City.
Kennedy said it will be a welcome change for the community.
“We have advocated for improved equipment,” Kennedy said. “It is such a heavily used park and it is so important that these renovations happen.”
“The park space is not just about the renovations though, it is about how our community comes together and celebrates,” Kennedy said.
Several events will be hosted at the park throughout summer as part of the CPI program, the Parks Dept. spokesperson said.
The Friends of Astoria Heights Park will host “It’s My Park Day” on May 16th, from 9 am to 1 pm. There will be children’s bicycle riding classes that day from 10 am to 1pm.
The group will also be holding a mural celebration on May 30 and be hosting a movie night on July 8.