Parks Cuts the Ribbon on Davis Playground
Friday, November 7, 2008
Commissioner Benepe and Council Member Michael McMahon were joined today by students from P.S.31, the William T. Davis School, to celebrate the opening of Davis Playground in Staten Island.
Thanks to $1.8 million in funding from the City Council and an additional $100,000 from Mayor Bloomberg, the playground has been reconstructed from an asphalt lot into an innovative playground with new swings, a basketball court and spray showers. In the spirit of Davis, the Staten Island-born naturalist and historian who is the namesake of the park, the area also features lush plantings and an amphitheater which will provide classroom seating for outdoor education.
Jointly operated by Parks and the Board of Education, this playground opened in 1969 as Public School 31 or William T. Davis School Playground. Originally, the Board of Education had intended to build P.S. 31 on the site of Mahoney Playground, which is located on Beechwood Avenue. Community pressure quashed the idea of building on top of a playground, and the current site of P.S. 31 was chosen instead. In 1985, Parks renamed this parkland to honor William T. Davis.
During a tour of PS 31 School in 2004, Council Member McMahon was asked by 5th grader Philip Bradley to take a look at the condition of the playground, which was in disrepair. The surface was uneven, fenced off in places, and the playground equipment was outdated or in poor condition. Council Member McMahon promised Philip he would find the funding to build a new playground.
Since 2002, Parks & Recreation has invested more than $70 million for Staten Island park improvements. Currently, Parks is in the midst of a major initiative to improve parks throughout the borough with 17 projects valued at approximately $19 million under construction, and another 33 projects valued at $100 million currently in design/planning stages or procurement.