Though the ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for Mission Playground this morning was canceled, that didn’t stop strollers from rolling in, kids and adults from testing the new playing fields and a young boy from chasing bubbles across the soccer field.
City officials, including the mayor, were busy making the announcement on Piers 30 and 32 that the Golden State Warriors plan to move to San Francisco, so the pomp and circumstance for Mission Playground’s new playing fields, courts and play area will have to wait.
The new play area has a water feature with several streams of water that spurt out of the ground for four minutes when activated by a big block button in the middle. Water showers down from another large pole when activated. On a windy day like Tuesday, passersby had no choice but to notice the new feature, as it misted onto the sidewalk.
The new turf fields were made possible by $500,000 in funding from the City Fields Foundation, which addresses field shortages throughout San Francisco.
“This gives more kids and more adults an opportunity to play ball,” said Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg. He and several others involved in the project were checking out the opening of the park.
The two new tennis courts with smooth blue surfaces are a welcome change for tennis players, who have been pushed over to Dolores Park’s crowded and cracked courts during construction. One player was already out and ready to hit some balls.
The now-complete phase 1 of construction also includes new lighting, artistic fences and plantings — though the new plaza near Valencia appears to be mostly pavement.
If you’re anxious for the return of San Francisco’s only outdoor pool, a grand opening for the entire $7.5 million project is planned for the fall, said Connie Chan, spokeswoman for Rec and Park.
The renovations were made possible by a 2008 bond and public-private partnerships like the one with the City Fields Foundation.
“This shows the importance of investment in our parks,” Ginsburg said. “We realize this part of the neighborhood is dense. We want people to have space to play.”
The building that houses the pool locker rooms is being renovated, and the upgraded “clubhouse” will have a multi-purpose room, music room and computer study area. The bathrooms are being renovated, too. A new playground beside the pool building will be ready to open in the fall.
More information on the project is here.