On Monday, students, teachers and staff from PS 58 in Maspeth joined local elected officials and the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to break ground on a new $1 million playground.
The green playground will feature a running track and turf field, basketball hoop, volleyball court, ping pong tables, ADA-accessible play equipment, trees and more. Fittingly, the community playground will open on September 11.
“It is going to help in socialization, having fun, enjoying life and enjoying all that we do and learn in this great school,” said principal Adeline Tripoli. “We are going beyond the classroom into our park.”
The playground was funded with $600,000 allocated by Borough President Melinda Katz, who has collaborated with TPL on 10 playgrounds in Queens totaling $8 million.
Katz said not only will the school community get to use it, but toddlers and seniors from the community will as well. The playground will serve 13,400 residents who live within a 10-minute walk.
But for the borough president, the most exciting aspect is that the students themselves had a hand in designing their play area.
“The kids actually get to see from start to finish how a project works,” she said.
Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley allocated $100,000, while Councilman Robert Holden allocated an additional $125,000 for the project.
Holden said he also thought having the students design it was a “great idea.”
“There are so many great features in this,” he said. “Just having the community to be able to use this is a win-win.”
Hanadi Kassir, a fifth-grader at PS 58, said the student designers used tools to measure and calculate how big the park would be.
She said they added a turf soccer field to “show the talented people playing the sport.” A stage will also be used for school ceremonies.
Bridget Dominguez noted that the collaboration among classmates was “excellent.”
“It was a very fun project everyone got to be in,” she said. “While doing this project, we learned a great lesson that hard work pays off.”
Eviana Metaute from the fourth grade said while designing the playground, she advocated for a volleyball court and basketball hoop so “kids can have more opportunities to be fit and exercise.”
Jack Kelly, also in the fourth grade, thought an outdoor classroom and running track were especially important.
“As the ground is being broken, let’s run with it,” Kelly said.