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Soundview Park will see $15 million upgrade

Bronx Times

Soundview Park is getting $15 million in new amenities promising to make it into a well-resourced regional park.

Under PlaNYC, the park will be receiving $15 million in improvements that include a track and field complex with a synthetic turf soccer field, a playground, sports court, comfort station, and outdoor amphitheater with an overlook and access path.

“We are keeping our commitment to sustainability and improving our City’s quality of life by investing in the green spaces of the future,” said Mayor Bloomberg at the ground-breaking on Monday, June 18. “These improvements to Soundview Park move us closer to the signature goals of PlaNYC – restoring regional parks to their full potential and ensuring that every New York City resident lives within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground.”

Bloomberg defended his administration’s decision to continue making captial investments in city parks’ infrastructure during the economic downturn that began in 2008, saying that the time to make investments is during tough times, and that those investments will benefit generations of future New Yorkers.

He noted the city is making an additional $30 million in investments to improve Soundview Park that were not part of the PlaNYC funding.

The mayor also announced that Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe is steping-down into a newly created position involving urban parks at The Trust For Public Land.

His replacement, Veronica White, comes to her new job from New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunity, where she is executive director.

Before speaking about the Soundview project, Benepe said he was pleased to serve under Mayor Bloomberg who understands the “innate value” of parks.

“Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s vision, we are currently in the era of the largest park expansion since the Works Progress Administration days of the 1930s,” said Benepe. “The improvements to Soundview Park are one of the eight PlaNYC regional park projects that aim to meet the needs of the city’s growing population.”

The improvements should include rebuilding the existing track with a new rubberized surface, and an existing soccer field that will be rebuilt with synthetic turf to allow for year-round play.

A new park path will be created that connects the Seward Avenue park entrance to the reconstructed running track. The area will also include bleacher seating, lighting fixtures, and an outdoor adult fitness center with a misting station.

The next phases of the Soundview Park project will include reconstructing the existing playground while adding a new comfort station at Metcalf Avenue.

Bloomberg was also joined by Congressman Jose Serrano, Deputy Mayors Patricia Harris and Linda Gibbs, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo.

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