North Hempstead officials are eyeing a spring groundbreaking to rebuild Alvan O. Petrus Park in Port Washington, after authorizing a roughly $1.3 million construction contract last month.
The North Hempstead Town board approved the contract with Woodstock Construction Group Ltd. of Bayville, for a maximum of $1,289,800. The 7-0 vote occurred at the town’s April 19 board meeting.
The approval is among the final steps in a yearslong effort to secure the park’s rehabilitation. The 1.5-acre ramshackle property, owned and maintained by the North Hempstead Housing Authority, was closed in 2008 and later, eyed by a developer for senior housing. That plan was abandoned.
The current site is littered with graffiti on the basketball court’s backboard and with overgrown weeds. The Town acquired the property from the housing authority and its financial partners in 2015 and declared the area public parkland.
The park is to include a new basketball court, a handball court, picnic and play fields, jogging and walking trails, along with a barbecue pit.
Supervisor Judi Bosworth has said the plans expand on the original conception of the park, which includes only a single basketball court. She hopes to attract residents of all ages to the facility, which is available to residents across the town.
Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio, of Port Washington, had rallied the town to remodel the park as early as her 2011 campaign for the town board. She called it a “long process — we really took our time with it, and I think it’s going to be beautiful.”
Designers have struggled with the area’s hilly topography and seclusion from public view. Trees and brush will be cleared and retaining walls will be installed in the redesign, and the entrance to the park will be on Port Washington Boulevard.
The park’s approval followed meetings with the community over the design plans. Cashin Associates PC Engineering of Hauppauge was paid $104,000 to devise the plans after hearing suggestions from the community.