More Delays on Oval Park Visitors’ Center and Bathrooms

2 Jul

By Jordan Moss

Ongoing delays in renovations at the Williamsbridge Oval Park in Norwood are aggravating local park advocates. Following past delays in construction of a new track and field, as well as basketball courts, a new playground and a sitting area with spray showers (all now open and popular) it is now the recreation center with its bathrooms, fitness center, and ample room for community programs, that have been put on hold for a second time. (It was originally scheduled to open last spring, according to the Norwood News.)

Friends of Williamsbridge Oval Park member Eileen Markey wrote Parks Department officials in late June demanding answers.

“… June 21 marked not only the beginning of summer, but yet another deadline blown in the frustrating Rec Center renovation project,” Markey stated in a letter addressed to Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte and two other agency officials.  “The completion date has shifted a number of times. The most recent date was Spring 2012, which is now behind us. If it looked like completion were imminent, we’d let the date pass unmentioned. But the site is quiet and I hear dark rumblings that there is another problem on this project.”

Markey added: “We can’t go another summer without bathrooms, a rec center and most importantly: on site staff.”

But park users may indeed have to cope with those absences for a good bit longer.

A Parks spokesperson said the bathrooms are done but could not provide a clear completion date for the project that would result in the building’s opening.

“Construction on the interior bathrooms is complete, and the exterior bathrooms will be complete after the bathroom fixtures are installed,” the spokesperson said. “We are currently cleaning the interior spaces of the recreation center, and intend to have the building open later this summer.”

Parks said the cause of the latest missed deadline was “delays with the plumbing contractor procuring the bathroom fixtures.”

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