Officials and community members gathered to celebrate the completion of the first phase of a College Point athletic field renovation project, three and a half years after construction initially began.
Councilman Paul Vallone joined New York GAA Chairman Laurence McGrath and Deputy Consul General of Ireland in New York Seán Ó hAodha to cut the ribbon on the Shannon Gaels Athletic Field at Frank Golden Park. Phase one of the project included a complete renovation of the field located between 133rd Place and 135th Street.
“It was a great afternoon at Frank Golden Park cutting the ribbon on the brand-new Shannon Gaels Athletic Field,” said Vallone. “I’m proud to have allocated funding towards this project, which will be enjoyed by the Shannon Gaels GAA and the Queens community for generations to come!”
The $5.2 million renovation began in December 2015 and Vallone allocated $500,000 in funding to the two-phase project. A portion of the funds went toward the construction of a synthetic turf playing field for training and scrimmages as well as asphalt repavement, tree planting and a connecting pedestrian walkway.
For the project’s second phase, the Parks Department plan illustrates that the field immediately to the west of the Shannon Gaels Athletic Field will also get a complete overhaul. NYC Parks plans to install netting, stadium seating, benches, a scoreboard and sports field lighting as part of the phase two renovation.
The second phase will also include a picnic area with newly planted shade and ornamental trees and an accessible ramp.
The Shannon Gaels Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) was founded in Queens in 2002 and is the only underage GAA club in the borough for children of all age levels. The GAA plays the popular Irish sport known as Gaelic football, where 15 team members on each side score points through the opposing team’s goal posts.
According to Vallone’s office, groundbreaking on the second phase of the project is set for later this year.