Heavy rains this week have caused their share of trouble around San Francisco, but it's December storms that are to blame for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department's latest headache. The currently under-construction park at 17th and Folsom Street was initially scheduled to open to the public in the winter of 2016, but, according to officials, has been delayed until the spring of this year following heavier-than-anticipated end-of-year rain.
Rec and Park spokesperson Joey Kahn confirmed the delay to Hoodline, noting that despite the prolonged construction timeline, "the project expenditures remain within budget."
A construction contract for the project was awarded December 17th, 2015, and in March of 2016 crews broke ground on what is to be the first new neighborhood park built by Rec and Park in over a decade. The $5.2 million, 31,850-square-foot park is being constructed on top of what was once a paid-parking lot and an SFPUC electrical control panel — representing a welcome change in the eyes of city officials.
“I am excited by a brand new park in the Mission neighborhood for a community that deserves quality green, open spaces and recreation for more youth, families and seniors,” Mayor Lee said at the time.
In addition to a planned performance space, community garden, children's play area, grass lawn, and an "interactive water feature" commemorating Mission Creek, the space will also include art depicting the California condor.
“We don’t always get to build new parks,” Rec and Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg said in a press release. “Now, with the community, we’ve designed a park that meets the needs, desires, and creativity of the neighborhood. I cannot wait to come back to celebrate the opening.”
It just turns out that the opening will be a few months later than Ginsburg initially expected.
No fixed opening date has been set — and it is conceivable that continued January rains could delay the project even further. That being said, Kahn is confidant that this time his department's predictions of an early spring opening are correct. And while the rain may have slowed the efforts of construction workers, it has not dampened the excitement of those at Rec and Park.
"We’re looking forward to celebrating the opening of the new park with the community," Kahn said. "[This] parkland will help revitalize and provide open space to the Mission community."
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