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City parks see improvements

(left to right) Mayor Michael Bissonnette, Ward 5 Alderman Fred Krampits and Tanner Fournier were among the people enjoying the new playscape at Ike Albert Park last week.Reminder Publications photo by G. Michael Dobbs
By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

CHICOPEE Tanner Fournier seemed to approve of the new additions made at Ike Alpert Park on Beauchamp Terrace. The young Chicopee resident was enjoying the new playscape at its formal unveiling on Thursday.

The playscape is just one of the improvements at the parks and is one of many improvements that are being made to a number of parks in the city. The Board of Aldermen approved in June the budget request from Stan Walczak, the superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department.

The $50,000 playscape at Ike Alpert Park was not among those newly approved items, Ward 5 Alderman Fred Krampits said last week. It was paid by community development funds.

Walczak said the playscape was the latest in a series of improvements to the park over the last several years. The swing set is just one-year-old, he noted and new hoops were installed on the basketball court as well as a new non-skid paint job for the asphalt surface.

There have been upgrades on the park's roller hockey rink and the soccer field has been refurbished as well.

Krampits said the new playscape, which was installed in May, has been a hit with residents. At 5 p.m., he said, "You can't get on the equipment."

The new budget includes a new soccer kickboard unit for the park. The funding for a new tennis practice board at Williams Park and a basketball court resurfacing at Garrtiy Grove Park and Mandalay Mini-Park was also approved.

The city will spend $4,500 on new water bubblers at Lincoln Grove, Szetala Park, Dana Park and Sheridan Street Mini-Park.

Szot Park will see the greatest amount of renovation. Because the park will be the site of the American Legion Baseball Tournament next year, the city will spend $21,00 to upgrade the 1949 stadium to have handicap accessibility for the rest rooms as well as general access to the stadium. Other renovations include painting the stadium, new fencing in center field for safety purposes and more bleacher seating.

Walczak said some of the works at Szot Park would begin this fall as it difficult to start renovations while the park is being used for baseball games.