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Councilwoman steers $5.7M in city funding to upgrade Frank Principe Park in Maspeth

THE COURIER/Photo by Salvatore Licata

The baseball fields are plagued with drainage issues and the track is nothing more than a slab of asphalt. But that will soon change due to funding allocated to Frank Principe Park by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.

She has designated $5.7 million for the upgrade of these two portions of the park, according to the Parks Department. The department said they are currently putting together a Request for Proposal for a design consultant for this project as it is only in the preliminary stage. But sources familiar with the plan said they are hoping to upgrade the drainage system of two of the baseball fields, replace the other two fields with a soccer field and add an actual track to the park.

The four baseball fields overlap each other, making it hard for more than two separate games to go on at once, eliminating the use of all four at any given time. Furthermore, when it rains, the fields quickly flood due to poor drainage and are unusable until the massive puddles dry out.

Upgrading this system by putting drainage tanks under the fields is one way they are looking to combat the problem, according to a source. With regards to the track, they are looking to build one that would be similar to the polyurethane-surfaced track in Juniper Valley Park, which goes around the soccer/football field.

“I am thrilled to have been able to allocate nearly $6 million dollars for renovations at Frank Principe Park,” Crowley said. “For the first time in over 25 years, these much-needed upgrades will breathe new life into the lower fields and track area. I look forward to engaging the community in the upcoming months on the redesign of the fields.”

Earlier this year, Crowley allocated $2.5 million for upgrades to the track and field in Juniper Valley Park. They have similar issues with Frank Principe Park with regards to drainage problems.

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