City Moving Ahead with Major Park Renovations

According to Tony Sousa, the Acting Director of Planning and Development for the City of Everett and Al Borgonzi of the Planning Department, the city’s planned $1.3 million renovation of Jacob Scharf – also known as Florence Street Playground – and a larger $2.6 million upgrade of Sacramone Park next to the Malden River are both on track to make major progress this year.

In fact, Scharf Playground will be completed by Thanksgiving, according to Borgonzi, who is the city’s project manager on that project.

“Our plan is to have it done by Thanksgiving,” said Borgonzi, of the park that will be getting a new splash park, benches, walkways, lighting, tot lot and playground equipment for older children as well.

The existing basketball courts were recently resurfaced and will be left intact.

“It’s a great project,” said Borgonzi. “We’re putting in 53 new trees, new landscaping, a drainage system and sewer for the splash park. It’s going to be a great park when we are finished.”

The sources of funding for the $1.3 million makeover of Scharf Playground include $200,000 from the state’s Our Common Backyards Grant program in 2014 and about $1.1 million from the city’ FY 2015 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) according to Sousa.

“The (Scharf Playground) project has been a bit delayed, we originally planned on finishing this park last year, but there were some issues that delayed the project,” said Sousa, who declined to provide any additional details about the delays.

The larger of the two park renovations – a $2.6 million renovation of Sacramone Park – s also moving long, and according to Sousa, construction of that park should be out to bid in a matter of weeks, with construction at that park beginning later in the summer.

“Sacramone Park is a much bigger project, partly because it involves re-sealing the cap that was placed over the site before the park was built,” noted Sousa.

The city also has grant money for the Sacramone Park in the form of a $400,000 PARC grant from the state’s Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

 The PARC grant is a competitive grant ear-marked for parkland acquisition and renovation projects. The remaining $2.2 million for the project will come from the city’s recently approved FY 2016 CIP.

Sousa said the department is not able to offer an expected timeline for completion of the Sacramone Park renovation until after the contractor has been selected.

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