Benson Park renovation opens, $1.5 million project celebrated
On Thursday, Councilmember Vincent Gentile joined the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to open the newly renovated basketball courts at Benson Playground, located at Bath Avenue between Bay 22nd and 23rd streets.
Gentile had allocated $1.5 million for the renovations in 2015. NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, Borough Parks Commissioner Marty Maher and Gentile all attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Nearly 100 students from P.S. 200 were also there for the unveiling of the newly renovated portion of Benson Playground. The playground design was the result of extensive community input from local residents and nearby schools.
“Benson Playground is beloved by so many young children in the neighborhood, and especially by the children of P.S. 200,” said Silver. “We finished the renovation three months ahead of schedule. Now the children can enjoy it this summer and for years to come, thanks to Councilman Gentile for investing in this truly special playground.”
Benson Playground honors Egbert Benson (1746-1833), an attorney and statesman who contributed his name to the neighborhood of Bensonhurst. Benson was New York state’s first post-independence Attorney General in 1777. The playground adjoins the Benson Elementary School (P.S. 200) on Benson Avenue and originally opened in 1956. It was last renovated in 2001.
“I am overjoyed to see the new renovations to the basketball courts at Benson Playground, and to see the smiles on the faces of all of the children that will enjoy these courts for years and years to come,” said Gentile.
“A very special thank you to Parks Commissioner Silver, Borough Parks Commissioner Maher, Principal of P.S. 200, the Benson School, Javier Muniz, the school staff, Parent Coordinator, PTA and everyone else who was involved in making this outstanding project possible.”
The multipurpose asphalt recreation area has been reconstructed with a brand new color seal coat for field and track sports. The full basketball court was improved with new pavement, color seal coat and lines, and backboards with hoops and nets. New concrete pavement for the handball courts, drinking fountain and new color seal coat for street games were also part of project.
“Benson Playground has been transformed, with courts for multiple different sports, a walking track and so much more,” Maher told the Brooklyn Eagle. “Councilman Gentile is a true partner, having allocated $30 million for improvements to parks in his district, and Benson Playground is a testament to that. We look forward to seeing all of the neighborhood kids enjoy this playground they love so much.”