On Tuesday, the city broke ground on the long-awaited $30-million renovation of Brownsville’s Betsy Head Park.
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver was joined by Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel, representatives of Community Board 16, local students and neighbors. After revealing renderings for the project in January, work officially began yesterday — just in time for the park’s centennial anniversary.
“Betsy Head Park has been serving the Brownsville community for over a century, and this major renovation will kick off a fresh start for its next 100 years,” said Commissioner Silver. “With $30 million in funding to revamp this crucial neighborhood park, we can make Betsy Head the true Brooklyn destination it is meant to be.”
The renovations are part of the city’s Anchor Parks initiative. Launched by Mayor Bill de Blasio in August 2016, the initiative committed a total of $150 million for major improvements at five parks: Astoria Park in Queens, Highbridge Park in Manhattan, St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, Freshkills Park on Staten Island and Brooklyn’s Betsy Head Park. Each project was selected based on criteria such as historical underinvestment, a large population surrounding the parks and the high potential for the parks’ development.
The Betsy Head Park project will be executed in two phases.
Starting in the park’s northern section, the renovation will reconstruct the multi-purpose play area, basketball courts, the fitness area and create a new skate park. The reconstruction will cost $7 million and is anticipated to be completed by spring 2020.
The second phase will begin later this year and focus on the southern portion of the park, including its large center field, the sports courts, seating areas and reconstruct the comfort station. The overhaul for the southern parcel will cost approximately $23 million, city officials stated.
The city announced yesterday an additional $4 million allocated for a brand new comfort station in the Imagination Playground section of the park. Construction for this project is also expected to begin later this year.