Nolita Playground Could Get $1.9M Makeover

By Andrea Swalec on April 5, 2013 7:07am 

GREENWICH VILLAGE — All-new play equipment and a horizontal rock-climbing wall are headed to a rundown park at Spring and Mulberry streets.

The city Parks Department is seeking additional funds to revamp DeSalvio Playground — located where SoHo, Nolita and Little Italy meet — after elected officials committed the majority of the money needed.

A total of $1.3 million has been dedicated to the renovation of the playground by City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a Parks Department representative said.

But to outfit it with all the features locals have asked for will cost $1.9 million.

"The cost went up due to community desires," District 1 and 2 parks and recreation manager Ralph Musolino said at a Community Board 2 meeting held in the Village Wednesday night.

DeSalvio playground, which is now dingy with old play structures and faded hopscotch squares, is slated to get new play equipment, a water feature, a new basketball court and a horizontal climbing wall. The renovations will also give the playground new shrubs, trees. lighting and benches.

The funds committed for the playground so far are $620,000 from Chin's office, $375,000 from Stringer's office and $305,000 from Quinn's office, CB2 records show.

The local groups Bowery Babes, Friends of DeSalvio Playground, the Partnership for Parks and the Citizens Committee of NYC advocated for the renovation, holding a community input session there in June 2012.

The Parks Department expects to begin the design process for the playground once the city adopts its budget for financial year 2014, a spokesman said Thursday. 

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