Central Park Playground to Get $1.2M Makeover

By Victoria Bekiempis on April 11, 2013 9:22am 

UPPER EAST SIDE — Central Park will soon get a much-needed facelift.

Starting in July, the Central Park Conservancy will begin a project to fully remake a playground in the park, located at East 79th Street and Fifth Avenue, "to ensure accessibility for all park visitors."

Since many children using this playground are 2 and 3 years old, more equipment will be geared toward the younger toddler set.

An age-appropriate slide, balancers, a spray water feature, a climber, sandboxes and toddler swings will be installed, according to the conservancy.

The pricetag for the playground project is $1.2 million, and construction is scheduled to be wrapped up by January.

The conservancy, which manages Manhattan's most famous green space, will also plant trees on the north side of Grand Army Plaza, which runs from East 58th Street to East 60th streets along Fifth Avenue. Approximately 14 London plane trees will be planted on the Plaza's perimeter to replace trees lost during a fall 2011 snowstorm.

In addition to this replanting — and planned re-paving, irrigation and drainage improvements — the conservancy will undertake a preservation program to protect a gilded-bronze statue of Civil War Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman.

These fixes will cost approximately $2 million, conservancy officials told DNAinfo.com New York, and are scheduled to begin in June.

Many Community Board 8 members, who listened to the proposals at a recent parks committee meeting, said they welcomed the facelift.

"I think it's a very good restoration plan. I think it looks maintainable," said CB8's Elizabeth Ashby. "They're modest changes going back to the original plan, which is always a good thing."

The southern portion of the plaza is also due for a $2 million overhaul, but those improvements aren't likely to start for approximately five or six years, an organization spokesperson said.

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