Graniteville Park, acquired by Parks in 1971, is located in northwestern Staten Island, at Jules Drive, Elson Court, and Regis Drive. The neighborhood of Graniteville was the site of quarries operated from the 1840s to around 1896 to extract trap rock from the geological formation that includes the Palisades. On August 4, 1997, this playground was dedicated to Jennifer Schweiger (1974-1987), of Westerleigh, who was abducted and murdered on July 9, 1987 when she was twelve years old. The impetus to create a "Playground for All Children" came from Community Board One and the "Friends of Jennifer," a community group which developed from the search party organized to find Jennifer after she was kidnapped. A playground without barriers, it is a fitting tribute to Jennifer, who had Down’s Syndrome. Jennifer was a student at Public School 22 and loved to dance. She is greatly missed by her family, friends, and neighbors.
Construction of this state-of-the-art playground was funded by Borough President Molinari at a cost of $2.3 million. The first of its kind in Staten Island, it was designed to accommodate children with special needs. Features include play equipment, game tables, sandboxes, spray showers, a picnic area, sensory trails, gardens, lawns, landscaping, and a basketball court with adjustable baskets. The entire facility is accessible by wheelchair.
Also designed for children with special needs, the new Graniteville Recreation Building opened to the public in 1998. It provides indoor space for recreational activities and hosts a variety of specially designed programs. The curving metal roof, bright orange brick walls, and aquamarine paint express the spirit of fun and play. The dramatic, sail-like tensile structure atop the roof extends off the side of the building to create a shaded space for outdoor events. The building features cast-aluminum scuppers shaped like squids.