June 15, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
Councilwoman Julie Won announced that the resurfacing of a badly worn-out Woodside athletic field has begun — and the total cost of the project will likely come in well under budget.
The project sees the artificial playing field at Big Bush Park, located between 61st and 64th Street by Laurel Hill Boulevard, being ripped up and a new high-quality synthetic turf surface will then go down in its place. It is situated across from the Big Six Towers cooperative complex.
The playing field at the park consists of one full-sized soccer pitch, which also has markings for baseball. The soccer field is often divided up to facilitate smaller soccer games.
It has been in poor condition for some time and residents have been advocating for it to be repaired.
A youth division within the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA), a soccer federation based in Nassau County, even started a GoFundMe page last year to pay for repairs. The fundraiser only managed to generate around $1,700, but the campaign helped highlight their cause.
The Parks Deptartment then announced in September that it would be resurfacing the field this year, with Won stating on Tuesday, June 13, that work on the project had commenced. It is expected to be completed by the end of August, according to the Parks Department.
Won said her office had secured $847,000 from the mayor’s office to finance the project, which is $423,000 less than the figure initially allocated for the revamp.
The mayor had set aside $1.27 million for the project last year and then the plans were put out to procurement, according to a Parks spokesperson.
Parks then accepted a bid of $847,000 from a contractor to carry out the repair work, with the scope of the project remaining the same despite the lower figure, the spokesperson said.
It is understood that $1.27 million has still been reserved by the mayor’s office for the project, should it face overruns or delays, the spokesperson said. If it does finish under budget, the city will look to reallocate the funds to another turf field project.
Won said she was thrilled to announce that work on the project had begun.
“For years, our neighbors have called for repairs to the park’s turf, which was deteriorating from years of sports and other recreational activities,” Won said. “In our city full of concrete and tall buildings, it’s so important that we invest in green spaces for our children and families to enjoy. Thank you to the mayor’s office and the Parks Department for this vital investment in our outdoor spaces and thank you to our community for your advocacy.”
Meanwhile, Parks Queens Commissioner Jackie Langsam said the agency was excited about the work getting underway.
“Big Bush field represents one of the best open spaces for recreation in Woodside,” Langsam said. “We look forward to unveiling this new amenity to the Woodside community as part of our ongoing commitment to enhance and renovate parks and playgrounds in every corner of the city.”