By Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
Work has finally begun on a new soccer field in Astoria Park.
Construction on the new field began with a ground-breaking ceremony held Dec. 1 attended by Borough President Melinda Katz, City Councilman Costa Constantinides, representatives from the Parks Department, Community Board 1 District Manager Florence Koulouris, the Hellgate Road Runners and young soccer players from Eleftheria Pancyprian Soccer League.
“Reimagining the soccer field and track at Astoria Park is over eight years in the making, and I am thrilled to see work get underway,” said Constantinides. “The community for so long wanted this area rehabilitated, and came out in force to make its voice heard.”
Renovations to the park’s already existing track and field just south of the RFK-Triborough Bridge, marks another step toward the completion of the $30 million worth of parkwide upgrades.
Along with the soccer field, Astoria Park will get a new Charybdis Playground, revamped paths and upgraded infrastructure.
In August 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio launched the Anchor Parks Initiative which committed a total of $150 million to upgrade a large park in each of the city’s boroughs.
Like Astoria Park, Saint Mary’s Park in the South Bronx, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn and Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island, will all receive $30 million in renovations.
Each park was selected based on historical underinvestment, high surrounding population and potential for park development.
All park renovations are set to be completed by May 2020.