The Town of Huntington plans to spend nearly $1.5 million to...

The Town of Huntington plans to spend nearly $1.5 million to renovate the playground at Heckscher Park this summer, closing the facility for June and July.  Credit: Rick Kopstein

The Town of Huntington will close the playground at Heckscher Park for two months this summer to give it a $1.473 million upgrade.

The Sheryl Steinberg Collins playground has not been updated in about a decade and is in need of a complete overhaul, Town Supervisor Ed Smyth said.

The playground will be shuttered for June and July for the renovation with an aim to get it reopened for August. The project will be completed by the Fall Festival held annually on Columbus Day weekend, he said.

“All the playground equipment is being replaced, the layout is being reconfigured to have the features within the playground clustered in an age-appropriate layout,” he said, adding that the playground will include equipment that meets standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the safety flooring will be completely replaced.

The park is located at Prime Avenue and Route 25A.

In October, town officials solicited proposals from three playground manufacturers for the renovation. The winning proposal came from Delano, Minnesota-based Landscape Structures. Town officials said no formal plan for the renovation has been approved.

The playground equipment will be paid for with $890,000 from the town’s parks and recreation capital improvement reserve fund. The town’s Environmental Open Space and Park Fund Advisory Fund committee recommended up to $475,000 of its funds be used to replace the safety surface for the playground.

Smyth said the Sheryl Steinberg Collins Foundation, a private foundation in Hauppauge, agreed to cover the remaining $108,000 to complete the renovation. He said his administration did not want to greenlight the renovation until all funding was in place.

Despite the cold temperatures, Huntington Station resident Jennifer Cellura was at the park on Presidents Day with her two daughters. She said she’s disappointed the project could not be timed better, but in the long run it will be a benefit for the community.

“If they are going to be making additions that are beneficial to us that’s great,” she said. “It’s our tax dollars hard at work.”

Patrick Hughes, of Huntington, was also at the park Monday with his two toddler sons.

“I would love for it not to be closed during the summer but if that’s the cost of renovating and getting the park refreshed because some of this stuff is pretty old and could use some updating, I support it,” he said. “Hopefully they will keep to the time restraint and it’s open for the fall.”

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