If you have been out-and-about the Village in recent months, you may have noticed a number of projects underway that will improve parks and recreation facilities in the community. Here’s what’s happening….
Following the replacement of the Cameron Field Playground in 2012 and the Farrell Field Playground in 2014, the Grove Park Playground is being replaced in the summer of 2017. While the age and condition of the playgrounds made replacement desirable, changes in various guidelines and regulations also made the old equipment in these parks obsolete and replacement necessary. The goal of the Department of Recreation is to gradually upgrade all of the playgrounds located in the Village with a variety of equipment and play options.
BAIRD COMMUNITY CENTER
A new entrance is under construction at the Baird Community Center on Mead Street. An ADA grant from Essex County provided partial funding for this project, which provides a new ramp for handicap accessibility. While the primary purpose was to improve accessibility, the design of the entrance is historically compatible with the old building and creates a beautiful entrance and surrounding porch area that residents of the community can be proud of. In the coming year, the Village plans to continue the improvements at the Baird, beginning with a roof replacement and repairs to the building exterior, including the replacement of the 2nd story porch, followed by reconstruction of the community center interior.
MEADOWLAND PARK TENNIS COURTS
The tennis courts in Meadowland Park are being replaced with brand new courts and upgraded lighting in 2017. If the construction is on schedule and the weather cooperates, they will be completed before the end of the summer. These courts are the home of a thriving tennis community, recreation department lessons and both girls and boys Columbia High School tennis teams.
The skate house located near the Duck Pond in Meadowland Park is also in the midst of reconstruction. The roof and windows have been replaced and the building has been gutted for refurbishment. Once completed, the space will include new bathrooms and a heated and air conditioned space to be used for Village programming, events and/or meetings.
SOUTH ORANGE POOL
There are a few major structural repairs required at the South Orange Community Pool. A new filter system is needed for the main pool, as is decking and gutter repairs. While final planning has not yet been completed, the Village hopes to begin this work in the fall of 2017. While the mandatory removal of the 3 meter diving board this year was disappointing, the Village is investigating other amusement options for the future.