Elected officials, neighbors and St. Katherine of Siena students gathered at Torresdale Playground, 9550 Frankford Ave., on Sept. 10 to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the renovated playground.
“It is so wonderful to see kids playing in this great park happily with smiles on their face, and grandparents taking their grandchildren here to play just as they took their children,” said Councilman Bobby Henon.
The $1.3 million renovation included converting two tennis courts into a new “sprayground” for kids to play in water, new play structures, safety surfacing and fencing. Two basketball courts and three tennis courts received new equipment, paving and color coating. Security cameras, lighting, water service, site furniture, signage, landscaping and ADA parking spaces were also added.
“When you make this type of investment in great public spaces like this, you see the impact not just on this space, but on the entire neighborhood, and you see the impact it has on the young people who have access to this space,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell.
The renovation also installed a flagpole and plaque dedicated to Patrick M. Corcoran, a seaman from Torresdale who lost his life in 1969 at age 19 when the USS Frank E. Evans collided with another boat outside of the warzone, leaving 74 crewmembers killed. Corcoran’s siblings Tom and Sue attended the ribbon cutting.
“This means so much to our family, and just to continue to support it reflects how close this community is,” Tom said.
Monsignor Paul Kennedy of St. Katherine of Siena, located at 9738 Frankford Ave., spoke at the event and expressed appreciation that the students could enjoy the nearby park.
“One of my absolute favorite words in the English language is recreation, because you take it apart and it’s re-creation, getting back to what we are, and that’s what we’re aware of in a recreation park. It’s a time for us to energize ourselves,” he said.
Work began on the project back in February. ••