Oct. 4, 2011 By Liz Peterson
Jimmy Van Bramer, this neighborhood’s local councilman, has called on the public to provide input as to how Thomas P. Noonan Playground should be redesigned.
Van Bramer, who held an event at the playground Monday morning, said he had $600,000 to spend on the redesign. However, unlike standard city practice, Van Bramer is actively trying to get feedback from the public as to how it should be upgraded.
To that end, he has put out suggestion boxes. Residents are welcome to submit their suggestions at Sunnyside Library or at Van Bramer’s council office (47-01 Queens Blvd., Suite 205). The boxes will remain open until Oct. 31.
The suggestion boxes were launched with the help of third graders from P.S. 199, who came down to the park Monday morning to draw their ideas for playground improvements and present them to the councilman.
After the month is up, all ideas will be itemized and submitted to the Parks Department for consideration, with recurring ideas highlighted. The Parks Department is responsible for coming up with the plan itself, which will then be presented at Community Board 2 meetings for public review. Van Bramer said the plan is likely to be ready for review in early 2012.
Changes to the playground will include repairing the fence, Van Bramer said. The fence has gaps, so there’s nothing to prevent children from darting out into the street. Once the immediate safety concerns are taken care of, Van Bramer said he’d like to see the rainbow sprinkler get an upgrade, to make it “even more special than it is now.” Green space is also a priority, he said.
Of course the children had their own ideas. Some sought a pool, while others a haunted house—although most ideas were more modest. The kids wanted simple things, like more swings, a seesaw and cleaner bathrooms.
Both Van Bramer and the children agreed that Thomas P. Noonan, for whom the playground is named, should be better memorialized, so people remember the sacrifice Noonan made. Noonan was a Marine who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War. One child suggested a statue, though the budget may not quite allow for something that large.
If the playground redesign grows into a larger, and therefore more expensive, project, Van Bramer said he’d be open to allocating more funding to the project, though that would of course take time.
I live across the street form the park and considering the surrounding buildings would be nice. It would be ideal to minimize the basketball court and handball court since the park is aimed for children not “thugs” who utilize it the most for inappropriate gatherings and illegal trades or those annual summer basketball games which turn the park and courts into trash along with their disturbing loud music. It would be a lot better if the playground was expanded for the children and maybe the handball courts should be removed completely then move down the basketball courts allowing more room to add “more swings, a seesaw” as the kids of p.s 199 requested. Also after 9:00pm supposedly the park is closed? but why is it that when 3:00am rolls around people decide to play basketball or handball. They should close off the courts after 9:00pm at least. hopefully adding gates is included in the $600,000 redesign.
A soccer court for kids would be great – except that I have a feeling that the ADULTS would take over the field. I notice that on Skillman it is mostly adults playing soccer.
give those kids a soccer area so they can get the eff off the basketball court! there is a reason their balls get launched over the fence… YOU DONT PLAY SOCCER OR VOLLEYBALL IN A BASKETBALL COURT AREA…
which by the way is the predominant sport played at the park… so i’m just throwing the idea of having two full courts out there
A gated fence would be nice. It’s too easy for toddlers to wander out of the park. A patch of grass anyone? Grass is like the lp or the rotary phone in this neighborhood. Something you wax nostalgic over, “When I was a kid they had this thing called ‘grass’…
$500,000 (half a million bucks!) was spent on renovating the legendary Sunnyside Sign, so $600,000 won’t go very far in rejuvenating an entire block square park. Start with a dog run, maybe?
It is probably what they sell that keeps them in the hooch. The cops cleared them all out after Van Brammer’s kick off campaign on Monday morning, but they were back the next day.
sounds good but 600G is really not much in the world of construction! To call it a re-design is a stretch with that amount. be nice to build wall between Pablo and his 12 around-the-clock drunk-off-their-azz friends so kids can play without the sight of them. Man, I wonder how this pack of grown men manages to just hang out in the park and drink all day – somebody support these people? Who buys the hooch?