Aug. 4, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A $1.7 million upgrade for Paul Raimonda Playground, which will include a piano-shaped spray shower, got underway on Tuesday.
The Parks Department joined Councilman Costa Constantinides and community leaders to break ground on the renovated playground, which is located at 47th Street and 20th Avenue.
The agency announced the renovation plan in 2013. The revamp will include replacing an under-utilized bocce court with adult fitness equipment, as well as fixing drainage problems, according to a Parks Dept. spokesperson.
Paul Raimonda Playground is named for the late community activist and founder of the Astoria Heights Homeowners and Tenants Association. It is also located blocks from the Steinway and Sons factory, which inspired the playground’s new piano-shaped spray shower area.
According to Parks, a baby grand piano will be mimicked in concrete with four octaves of keys and a replica of the signature Steinway iron plate. A seat wall will edge the piano; two spray features will be mounted on the seat wall and two will be in the ground.
Other design elements include kids’ play equipment, flowering plant beds and repaved asphalt.
Alberta Maineri-Burke, who started a Friends of Paul Raimonda Playground group, said her two young children are “absolutely excited” for the renovated space.
“This has been something that we’ve all wanted to see,” she went on, noting that she expects the improved playground will be a space for the Friends group to host community events. “It [will be] nice to see it new, and shiny, and the community will come out.”
Construction is expected to be complete by next summer.