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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Parks Dept.: Oval Playground to Open in Late June

Originally scheduled to open last January, the Parks Department now says this playground and other amenities in Williamsbridge Oval Park will be open to the public late this month. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

By Jordan Moss

An early burst of summer weather has residents anxious to utilize a new playground, spray showers and basketball courts in the southern part of Williamsbridge Oval Park.

But they’ll have to wait a little while longer.

The Parks Department says the long anticipated upgrades, funded in connection with the political deal that paved the way for the mammoth water filtration plan now taking root in the Norwood section of Van Cortlandt Park, will be completed in late June after the contractor finishes punch list items. The original completion date was last January but the severe winter pushed the work back, an agency spokesman said.

A rehab of the recreation center, including upgraded bathrooms and ADA compliance, which was supposed to be done by May 31, also suffered from the relentless cold weather and is only 70 percent finished. That building will be completed at the end of the summer.

Park advocates say they love the design of the new playground but hope there are no more delays.
“Friends of the Oval just wants to make sure the park is open as quickly as possible,” said Eileen Markey, a member of the volunteer organization, adding that the sprinklers are “a public health need” that help keep the peace in the heat of summer.

Ed. note: This article appears in the current issue of the Norwood News, on the streets and on-line now.  


  1. Does anyone know if the "tunnel" entrance by Bainbridge and Van Cortlandt Aves will open at the same time?

  2. Greg:

    Actually the tunnel was supposed to be opened by June 15 in order to accommodate the piano for "Sing for Hope" program in the Oval. The piano was to be brought in through the tunnel's entrance and stationed in the newly constructed playground area for use. I have contacted Parks (just today) to find out what is going to happen to the piano with this (yet again!) delay. I will update the comment section once I find out. So, yes, the tunnel is to be opened at the same time as the playground.

  3. Thanks for the info, Lis. We just asked the Parks Department press office what the status is of the pop-up pianos considering the delay in the playground opening. Will post it as soon as we get a response.


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