Mayor Bloomberg Breaks Ground At Ciccarone PlaygroundFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 1, 2006
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today broke ground on the $3.4 million renovation of historic Ciccarone Playground located at East 188th Street and Arthur Avenue in the Fordham section of the Bronx. Mayor Bloomberg allocated $2.9 million to the project, which will transform the historic playground, giving it a new recreation and fitness facilities, security and lighting enhancements, and extensive landscaping and reconstruct the comfort stations. Mayor Bloomberg was joined by Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, and Council Member Joel Rivera, who allocated an additional $475,000 for the project. Construction will be completed next spring.
"Today’s ground breaking is one of many efforts to improve green spaces and recreational facilities throughout New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We’re building and renovating playgrounds and athletic fields, expanding greenways, and opening up the waterfront to the public in every corner of the city. Our work here at Ciccarone Playground will improve the quality of life for residents young and old."
"The renovation of Ciccarone Playground is another example of Mayor Bloomberg’s unprecedented commitment to our City’s parks and greenspaces," said Commissioner Benepe. "Over the past four and a half years, Mayor Bloomberg has allocated more funding to our parks than any of his predecessors."
"Over the past four years both the City Council and the Mayor have been committed to beautifying parks across the Bronx," said Council Member Rivera. "I am proud to stand here today in front of the future home of Ciccarone Playground – a rich example of the commitment to revitalizing our communities and providing public resources for children and families to enjoy."
Ciccarone Playground opened in 1934 and was named in honor of Vincent Ciccarone, an Italian émigré who gave his life in combat during World War I. It was one of nine playgrounds opened that year by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses with money from the War Memorial Fund, which had been established in 1921 by the New York City Police Department.
The redesign of Ciccarone Playground will transform the area into a unified space with a central spray shower and seating area. New play areas for toddlers and pre-teens will include play equipment, swings, slides, a fitness unit, spring pod, and gondola unit. Plantings and landscaping around the playground’s perimeter will soften the edge and present an appealing image to the surrounding community, while four new entrance gates will provide dedicated access to the playground. All equipment will be compliant with current safety and ADA standards.
In almost five years, Parks & Recreation has spent more than $113 million for Bronx park improvements, with new waterfront parks, greenways, and athletic facilities. There are currently an additional $102 million in active park projects in development, including the creation of a new park at the old concrete plant and Barretto Point Park to expand waterfront access in the South Bronx, while the Bronx River Greenway will connect the South Bronx and Westchester border with a 15-mile multi-use bike and pedestrian path as it is developed over the next decade. In addition, new ballfields and athletic facilities are transforming the borough.
Parks & Recreation is in the midst of a major initiative to improve parks throughout the Bronx funded with more than $220 million from the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Facility. These projects are expected to be completed over the next five years. Forty-three of these projects, totaling $92 million, are in design or construction, and the agency has completed $5.1 million worth of projects to date.
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