Two Bridges playground getting $3.5M rehab

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Playground One, in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Two Bridges, will be completely reconstructed.

Councilmember Margaret Chin, state Senator Brian Kavanagh, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and students from P.S. 1 (the Alfred E. Smith School), the playground’s namesake, gathered there on June 25, to break ground on the $3.5-million project.

Playground One in Two Bridges is set to get a new basketball area, new play equipment, new lighting and more, as part of a $3.5-million renovation project. (Courtesy NYC Parks Department.)

According to the Parks Department, when the project is finished by next summer, Playground One will have a resurfaced and regraded basketball area, new play equipment, a playhouse, a water-bottle filler and drinking fountain, new security lighting and new surfacing. As part of the renovations, the playground’s fences along Madison and Oliver Sts. will be lowered to improve the playground’s accessibility.  The change is in line with the Mayor’s Park’s Without Borders initiative, a design concept meant to make the public spaces more welcoming.

Funding for the renovations comes from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Community Parks Initiative, which invests in under-resourced parks in densely populated neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty.

“Playground One has been a place for the families and residents of Chinatown and the Lower East Side to relax, exercise and build communities for years,” Councilmember Chin said. “The $3.45-million renovation project we broke ground on will mean this space can support more athletic activities, better serve the community, and ensure Playground One is entirely accessible to all who want to enjoy it, regardless of physical ability.”

In October 2017, the Parks Department organized a public-input meeting to hear community feedback on how to best reimagine the playground. The planned changes reflect that input, according to a statement from Parks.

Since the Community Parks Initiative launched in 2014, the city has invested $318 million in capital funds into renovations for 67 parks that have not been updated in decades.

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