April 12, 2016 By Michael Florio
A local playground that hasn’t been renovated in two decades is about to get a $4.5 million makeover.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced on Tuesday that he secured $4.5 million in funding from Mayor Bill de Blasio for the renovation of Dutch Kills Playground, located on 36th Avenue and Crescent Street next to P.S. 112 and near the Baccalaureate School for Global Education.
The playground has not had any major renovations in the past 20 years, according to Van Bramer. The funding will include a full renovation of the park’s bathroom.
“It is a beautiful park, but it is in need of some tender loving care,” Van Bramer said.
The Parks Department will host what’s known as a scoping meeting on April 18 at P.S. 112 at 6 p.m. At this meeting, community members will be able to voice their opinions on what upgrades they would like to see implemented at Dutch Kills Playground.
“We give residents and their children a chance to voice their opinions before going through with the design process,” Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski said. “Come help us redesign your neighborhood park.”
Both Lewandowski and Van Bramer said that the $4.5 million will allow for an overhaul of the playground design.
“I want what is best for the children, seniors and students of this community,” Van Bramer said. “I am confident that through this process, we will have something that makes everyone happy.”
The renovation process is expected to take up to three years, according to Lewandowski.
Monday’s scoping meeting is the first step, after which the Parks Department will move forward with the design process. Then the project will go up for bid to contractors, which could take one year, and then construction will begin.
The playground will have to close during construction, which could also take up to one year, according to Lewandowski.
Part of the dialogue at Monday’s meeting will involve alternative outdoor space for the students of P.S. 112 and the Baccalaureate School during the construction period.
“There are neighboring playgrounds nearby that we will consider, but we would have to figure out transportation methods,” she said. “We have things to work out and will start that conversation on Monday.”
P.S. 112 Principal Rafael Campos already has ideas for the renovation.
“This is a great space for our children to play,” he said. “But if we can bring in a new playground with a padded ground, new trees and benches, it would be great not just for our school but the entire community.”