Use this search box to find articles that have run in our newspapers over the last several years.

Chapman Playground receives maximum grant for rehab project

Date: 11/3/2010

Nov. 3, 2010

By Katelyn Gendron

Assistant Editor

WESTFIELD -- Chapman Play-ground will be given a second chance to provide youngsters with outdoor entertainment thanks in part to two state grants.

The Chapman Playground Rehabilitation Project is one of 28 initiatives in the state to receive a portion of the $8.9 million in total funding as part of the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs' (EEA) Parkland Acquisitions and Renovations for Communities (PARC) program and the Gateway City Parks program. The city will receive a $500,000 PARC grant and was previously allocated $90,000 courtesy of the Gateway City Parks initiative.

"Parks are a part of the fabric of a community. Places to live are defined by their relation to recreational areas," Phil Griffith, undersecretary of EEA, said. He added that Westfield's proven track record for the successful completion of such projects, along with the value of the park itself to serve certain demographics such as young children made the Chapman Playground Rehabilitation Project a deserving grantee.

Griffith noted the office received its highest number of applications, nearly 60, for PARC grants this year, making competition for funding that much greater.

"I'm surprised because this is the third or fourth time we've applied for the grant to rehabilitate Chapman [Playground]," Jim Blascak, interim director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, said.

"The park is in desperate need," he continued. "We've had to remove the playscape due to vandalism and broken parts. There's a swing set there but the swings are broken. The storage area and pavilion are dilapidated and unusable."

Blascak noted the field at the playground is still used for the department's T-ball and flag football programs but that field hockey had to be moved to North Middle School this year.

The $90,000 Gateway City Parks grant was used to cover the cost to redesign Chapman Playground. The $500,000 PARC grant will be used for the renovation, which includes a play structure, a water-spray park, a restroom building, open-sided pavilion, a fitness circuit and a basketball court.

"[Once completed] it will hopefully be a destination park for the bike path," Blascak said, adding that construction and completion dates have yet to be determined.

Bookmark and Share