Oct. 24, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
The new soccer field and running track at Astoria Park opened this morning–more than six months ahead of schedule, the Parks Department has announced.
The track and field revamp was completed after almost a year of construction. The initial timeframe to finish the project was slated to be 18 months.
The field now features an eight lane rubberized track, with the center repurposed for soccer–including a new synthetic turf.
The new field/track also includes a misting station where athletes can cool down. The Parks Department also installed new lighting, pathways and seating areas with views of the waterfront.
The revamp cost $13.5 million and is part of a $34 million, three-phase overhaul of the park as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Anchor Parks Project – an initiative from the mayor’s office to upgrade a major park in each of the five boroughs.
The upgrades to the track/soccer field was the first phase of the project.
Council Member Costa Constantinides welcomed the opening of the field this morning and said that the revamp was the result of almost a decade of advocating from community groups, especially the Astoria Park Alliance.
“I’m so happy to see this new track and soccer field–which we could only dream of a decade ago–is open ahead of schedule,” Constantinides said. “Astoria Park is a 60-acre jewel for this community, and this state-of-the art facility only solidified that fact.”
Attention now turns to the second phase of the project.
Phase 2, which is slated to cost $12.3 million, began earlier this month with work starting on Charybdis Playground, located north of the pool. The renovation and expansion of the playground is expected to be completed by spring 2021, according to Meghan Lalor of the Parks Department.
During this phase, the playground will be expanded to incorporate part of the pool area where there are currently spray showers. New play equipment, picnic tables and gaming tables will also be installed.
The playground work will also feature a revamp of the bathrooms which have been closed since 2015.
The plans for the third phase have not yet been finalized, but they are expected to focus on landscaping at the northern section of the park.
The Parks Department is waiting to see what budget remains after Phase 2 before deciding on the extent of the work and timeline with Phase 3.