A $2 million renovation project at Chew Playground is underway.
Mayor Jim Kenney, community members and city officials gathered at the Point Breeze playground at 18th Street and Washington Avenue to officially break ground on the Rebuild project on May 31.
It signified the beginning of an extensive project that will provide the installation of several upgrades to the playing fields and its amenities. The park has served residents in Point Breeze for more than half a century.
“Chew Playground has been operating in South Philadelphia for more than 50 years and serving residents of all ages,” Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson said. “The groundbreaking for this new era for Chew Playground will mean an investment of $2 million from the Rebuild Initiative that (will) make much-needed improvements to the facilities at Chew. When the new Chew Playground reopens to the public by the end of 2022, it will be one of the best playgrounds in the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department system.”
The city’s Rebuild initiative is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries across Philadelphia. It was started during Kenney’s first budget in hopes of a more equitable city, while engaging the community and promoting diversity and inclusion.
“Rebuild partners with communities to update public spaces and facilities they can enjoy and take pride in,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “I’m excited for construction to start here at Chew Playground and to return to cut the ribbon when the project completes.”
Chew Playground currently has playground equipment, a pool, a basketball court, sports fields and a community garden included in its 2.8-acre site. It also has a multipurpose room that hosts various community activities.
New upgrades will include new player and spectator seating around the football field, athletic equipment for soccer, football, and baseball with appropriate field markings, upgraded fencing around the fields, improved drainage systems, replacement and installation of clean soil throughout the site, and updated lighting fixtures.
“The Chew community has long deserved improvements to this park,” said Kira Strong, Executive Director for Rebuild. “We’re excited to commence work on this project and wrap up construction as soon as possible so residents can enjoy their updated public space.”
Construction is underway and residents can expect it to be completed in about five months.
“Recreation centers and playing fields are vital lifelines, for our youth and families,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “The Hurricanes, the Sigma Sharks, and so many others rely on the multisport athletic field here at Chew to run their leagues and give kids a safe place to play. The investment Rebuild is making in this field will be a game-changer for Point Breeze families and the coaches and community who support them.”