June 19, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan (Updated)
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and the Parks Dept. will officially reopen Dutch Kills Playground Thursday, marking the completion of a $4.5 million overhaul.
The Parks Dept. has reconstructed the northern section of the playground, which now features new adult fitness equipment, basketball and handball courts, new accessible play equipment, a large water play spray shower, and lowered exterior fences.
The restrooms have also been renovated.
The upgrades to the 36th Avenue/Crescent Street park were funded by Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“This is an important project,” Van Bramer said, who noted that the park hadn’t undergone a significant upgrade in 20 years. “It’s a well utilized playground by two schools and it needed a lot of work.”
“Dutch Kills is a neighborhood that the city something loses sight of,” Van Bramer said, adding that the neighborhood deserves it share of improvements. “People know of the name of Astoria and Long Island City but forget that there is a terrific neighborhood in between.”
The revamp has also brought new trees, foliage, shaded seating, and additional community gathering areas.
Initial design plans for the project were first drafted in 2016, with groundbreaking taking place in May of last year.
Van Bramer said the Parks Dept. did an excellent job upgrading the park. “It’s one of the better upgrades I have seen. I think parents and kids will walk in and see a dramatic improvement.”
A ribbon cutting will take place Thursday at noon and will be attended by Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett and Council Member Van Bramer.
The initial article said that the park had undergone a $3.4 million upgrade. This number was provided by the Parks Dept. and didn’t include the cost of renovating the bathrooms. Council Member Van Bramer said the number was $4.5 million for the entire project.
It was so sad to see the park unusable due to construction for the past few years. I can’t for the life of me figure out what took so long but it looks like it turned out well and there will soon be a lot of happy kids.
If you want to know why it took so long (and likely why $2 million of that cost was for a bathroom).. check this out from John Stossel:
Thanks for the John Stossel link. Quite eye opening.
To be fair, the park’s construction took just over a year. Things are slow as molasses around here but it’s not fair to say they park was closed for “the past few years”.
To be fair, the park was closed long before the May 2018 groundbreaking.
They also had signs posted with a completion date of something like 2021 which was a real head scratcher.