Nov. 6, 2017 By Tara Law
A playground in Astoria that was once viewed as filthy and a magnet for crime has undergone a $1 million revamp.
Local officials cut the ribbon Thursday to a newly upgraded Sean’s Place, a playground located at 31st Avenue and 38th Street that had not been renovated for 20 years and where residents had complained about it being covered with broken glass, condoms and drug paraphernalia.
The revamp represents one of two steps that the Parks Dept. has taken to tackle the problem, which has included locking the gates at night from 9 p.m. through 7 a.m.
The overhaul has brought several new features to the park including new play equipment, a decorative spray shower, fences, benches and plantings. New asphalt has been laid down in the basketball court and a new pavement was installed in the park and the surrounding sidewalk. The park also has a new ADA compliant ramp by the swings.
“We are happy to re-open Sean’s Place Playground with new amenities that look bright, clean, and in great condition,” said Councilman Costa Constantinides. “Children deserve to play in a space that’s maintained in good and safe condition. We will continue to hold the Parks Department accountable for keeping Sean’s Place Playground a clean space for all families.”
Construction began on the project in Sept. 2, 2016 and was completed within a year. The mayor and the Queens borough president funded the project.
The playground is named in honor of Sean McDonald, a rookie police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1994 at the age of 26. McDonald was born in Ireland and moved to Astoria as a child, where he attended the now-shuttered Most Precious Blood Catholic School, which was located near the playground.