Park rehab gets underway in Sunset

November 23, 2011 Heather Chin
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The kids of Sunset Park will have double the playground to playin and a more inviting park overall come January, 2013, when nearly$5 million in renovations are completed.

The renovations include a new multi-purpose synthetic turf fieldplus running track, the reconstruction of the nearby comfortstation and sitting area, new drinking fountains, new nighttimelighting, and landscaping that will make it easier for parents tokeep an eye on playing children. The area will also bedisability/wheelchair accessible.

Funding for the project is provided through $3.9 million incapital funding secured by Councilmember Sara González and $1million allocated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Fourth graders from P.S. 169 joined in at the groundbreakingceremony on Friday, November 18, which was led by González,Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, members ofCommunity Board Seven and the Sunset Park Revitalization andImprovement Group (SPRIG).

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On why a new and improved Sunset Park is important forresidents, González referred to her own childhood, when shecouldn’t afford a lot of entertainment venues, so Sunset Parkbecame [her] favorite destination.

I would play, study, or just sit and think with the beautifulegg-shaped dome of St. Michael’s Church as my focal point, shesaid at the groundbreaking. I have pictures of me playing on theslope and I want kids to enjoy that, too, that abundance. I cancome here with my daughter and granddaughter, who loves the swings.This is what you remember when you grow older.

Community Board Seven Parks Committee Chair Joan Botti agreed,noting that her father used to walk her in the park as a colickybaby and that the park itself, with its gorgeous views andwelcoming atmosphere to anyone and everyone, is the jewel ofSunset Park.

For his part, CB 7 board member Sam Sierra was thrilled that themuch-needed renovations are even happening. In these economictimes, to have this allocation is amazing, he said.

Construction is currently taking place near the park entrance at44th Street and Sixth Avenue and will work its way inwards. Theexisting asphalt walkway will be transformed into the playingfield, which will be surrounded by benches, dugouts and a mistingstation. The comfort station will be reconstructed with re-pointedbrick, new windows and roof, and a new interior. Sustainable stormwater management practices will also be followed.

There will even be new landscaping with a range of trees,including native oaks, pastel hydrangeas and orange day-lilies. Thekids in attendance at the ground-breaking ceremony were especiallyexcited to learn about that.

The trees… the park.. .everything, exclaimed the fourthgraders from P.S. 169 when asked what they were most excited aboutwith the renovations. We just want it open, said one 10-year-oldboy, whose classmates chimed in that they look forward to seeingwhat it looks like. Colorful. Safe.

Since 2002, Sunset Park has seen over $3 million in capitalimprovements including the reconstruction of the basketball courts,play equipment, paths, steps, benches and the overlook.

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