FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Parks Cuts The Ribbon On New Community Performance Space In Owen Dolen Park
Parks officials today joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Member James Vacca, members of Bronx Community Board 10, the Westchester Square Business Improvement District, Westchester Square Merchants’ Association, and Westchester Square-Zerega Improvement Organization to reopen Owen Dolen Park, which has undergone a $5 million renovation.
“These new performance spaces will allow us to extend the fitness, entertainment and community programs, for which the Owen Dolen Recreation Center has become known, to its surrounding park,” said Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “I would like to thank Council Member Vacca and Borough President Diaz for allocating the funding necessary for this renovation, and the members of the Westchester Square community for advocating for this project.”
"When I first became borough president I made it clear that the health and vitality of Westchester Square would be a major priority of my office,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Owen Dolen Park serves as the center of this important community, and I am proud to have played an important role in this park's revitalization,"
"I was honored to be able to allocate the capital money for this wonderful project at Owen Dolen Park," said Council Member James Vacca. "This $4.5 million grant was dedicated to renovating one of the most valuable resources in Westchester Square and with its completion, it has certainly become a beautiful part of this community. Now that the Westchester Square Business Improvement District is in full force, Owen Dolen Park will certainly serve as this community's centerpiece as we continue to revitalize one of the borough's most important business hubs."
Thanks to $4,500,000 allocated by Council Member Vacca and $500,000 from Borough President Diaz, this park was renovated to contain several spaces to accommodate outdoor events and community programming – including a large plaza along Westchester Avenue. The park’s grassy areas were expanded and consolidated, and its pedestrian paths were streamlined and repaved. The project also included new seating, trees, ornamental plantings, additional lighting, improved drainage, and fencing.
This funding will also be used for an upcoming phase of improvements, currently being designed, that will improve the exterior of the recreation center, including new waterproofing for the building’s roof and re-pointed masonry.
The Owen Dolen Recreation Center is also reopening, with free access through June 30. This month we expect to offer Zumba and other fitness classes, martial arts instruction, board games, arts & crafts, and more.