Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown on Thursday announced that construction has begun for the MLK, Jr. Park Humboldt Basin Project.
“The city is using $4.1 million in capital funds for the historic Humboldt Basin Project, which will include a new splash pad for summer months, and a year-round historic water feature that can be used as a skating rink during the winter,” said Mayor Brown. “These developments in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park will be significant for the continued development of Buffalo’s East Side.”
The $4.5 million reconstruction includes grants awarded to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy for $400,000 in upgrades to MLK, Jr. Park for the Humboldt Basin wall and stairs. BOPC bridges funding for the improvements through The John R. Oishei Foundation, administers each grant and will complete the construction project.
“The restoration of the wading pool at the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park is the most significant restoration project underway anywhere in the historic Buffalo Olmsted Park System at this time,” said Thomas Herrera-Mishler, President and CEO of the Buffalo
Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “This investment in Buffalo’s East Side Olmsted Community will benefit our region and promote a healthier and more enjoyable park experience throughout the year. We are very grateful for the Mayor’s leadership and the generosity of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York in securing these restoration funds and look forward to a splashing fun time in one of the nation’s great Olmsted water features by next summer and many years to come. This restoration project is another very visible example of the power and effectiveness of one of the nation’s most remarkable public/private partnerships.”
Improvements made to playgrounds, pools and splash pads are part of an ongoing effort to transform all city park areas. The City of Buffalo spent roughly $150,000 last year and $200,000 this year, through the Department of Public Works, specifically for pool and splash pad maintenance and repairs. These repairs include: deck and gutter masonry work, pool painting, filter and pump repair, electrical work and inspections, basic building and plumbing maintenance.
In February 2011, Mayor Brown announced the largest investment for playground equipment in 20 years, a $1.6 million citywide playground equipment upgrade program. 35 playground areas received improvements including: play features, swing sets, benches and wood fiber safety surfaces.
Upgrades to public splash pads are planned for next year as well. Roosevelt Park Splash Pad will be refurbished as part of the upcoming Phase II Roosevelt Shelter House improvements. Centennial Pool in LaSalle Park will undergo construction and receive almost $375,000 in capital improvements, including security lighting, a wading pool and landscape features. The renovations are in addition to the $3 million reconstruction project that allowed Centennial Pool to be open for public use in July 2010.