Washington Market Park playground to be ready in July

By Albert Amateau

The park’s Great Lawn will get new sod and a new drainage system thanks to $350,000 from the L.M.D.C.

The new playground in Washington Market Community Park, already nearly a year behind schedule, is still more than a month from being finished, although most of it has been opened for weeks.

Bill Watson, president of the community park association, said one of the two contractors on the job has not yet completed addressing a three-and-a-half-page punch list of safety issues.

“We have to close a section of the playground by the tunnel [between the play areas for younger and older children] for a week or two because is really not safe. The hard surface has to be replaced by a soft safety surface,” he said.

In addition, two pieces of climbing equipment for the play area for older children have not yet been delivered. Watson said the contractor has indicated that the installation would be completed by July 14.

Moreover, the color of the blue and purple safety surface in the younger children’s playground has been deemed too garish by parents. Liz Liebeskind, a park board member, said the offending surface would be replaced by a sand and gray colored surface that would blend better with the natural environment and was preferred by parents.

Downtown Express photos by Lorenzo Ciniglio
Work continues in the Washington Market playground

The good news, Watson said, was that Washington Market Park has been granted $350,000 of the $25 million that the Lower Manhattan Development Corp, is providing for upgrading 13 parks in Lower Manhattan.

“We can thank Madelyn Wils for that,” said Watson. Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1, is also a member of the L.M.D.C. board of directors.

The grant for Washington Market Park is for reconstruction of the Central Lawn section and will include a new drainage system and new grass. The project is expected to take a year.


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