Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Park Commission Chairman Brian Santaniello, and Patrick Sullivan, Executive Director of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management are announcing the City has been awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Parkland Acquisitions & Renovations for Communities (PARC) grant for the redevelopment of Emily Bill Park. The project will greatly enhance the park with improvements to include accessible walkways, inclusive playground and swings, picnic pavilion, site amenities, field and landscaping improvements. The redevelopment will maximize the park’s opportunity for multigenerational and family friendly-passive and active recreational opportunities.
The project will be funded by the PARC grant award of $400,000 and an additional $250,000 from Community Development Block Grant funding for a total project cost of $650,000. Design development will begin in February and the project will be bid for a construction start of July 1, 2019. The anticipated completion date is June 1, 2020.
This grant is part of Mayor Sarno’s commitment, along with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, to rebuild Springfield and generate improvements across the city. The City, in conjunction with the Lower Liberty Heights Neighborhood, has been actively seeking grant opportunities to renovate this park.
Mayor Sarno stated, “This park grant will allow the city to rebuild the infrastructure of Emily Bill Park. This grant will address the drainage issues and provide the resources to improve the overall park infrastructure. It has been thirty-five years since its last major renovation. This park will be once again be a focal point for the residents of Lower Liberty Heights. Again, my many thanks to Governor Charlie Baker and Secretary of Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matt Beaton for their continued belief and investment in our Springfield.”
Park Chairman Brian Santaniello said, “The Park Commission wants to thank the office of Community Development. Their support of all of our park projects ensures there is a local match. The Park Commission is proud to have been selected by the Commonwealth for this grant and the residents will be assured their park will once again be the highlight of their neighborhood.”
Executive Director Patrick Sullivan stated, “I am proud of our City in that we are able to answer the concerns of the residents of Lower Liberty Heights in ensuring the restoration of this park land. This project will ensure that all drainage issues are addressed, planting new trees, new site amenities and overall providing new quality recreational resources. This project will ensure the neighborhood can once again host community events and utilize the playing field. We look forward to reopening this park in June 2020.”