Rockville Centre Village has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to assist in making improvements to Centennial Park and mitigate impacts on Mill River.

The state grant will help to partially fund the nearly $2 million park renovation project expected to begin this spring. The village will contribute $150,000, the Nassau County Environmental Program Bond Act of 2006 will provide $325,000 and another $25,000 will come from the nonprofit group RVC Conservancy, Rockville Centre spokesman Jeff Kluewer said.

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"This important funding will allow the village of Rockville Centre to turn Centennial Park into an even greater jewel for local residents and their families, while encouraging exercise, recreation and healthy lifestyles," State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said in a statement.

The renovation of Centennial Park includes upgrades to playgrounds, basketball courts and the parking lot to accommodate increased use. The playground, basketball courts and parking lot will be resurfaced. Lighting will be placed at the courts and drainage will be improved in the parking lot. The soccer field will be re-sodded and drainage improvements will be made, Kluewer said.

He said site improvements also will include new shoreline walkways, pedestrian lighting, new lookout decks near the river, fencing, shoreline erosion stabilization and wetland protection, signage, landscaping and seating. "We are grateful to Senator Skelos for his help in obtaining this grant which will allow us to greatly improve this important parkland and restore it to full use by our residents," Mayor Francis X. Murray said in a statement.