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New look for old park Robert Moreno | Sat, Mar 29 2014 12:00 PM

Chula Vista’s second oldest park received a makeover.

As part of a $62,000 renovation project, Memorial Park received upgrades that include the installation of new turf, the removal of a non-operable water fountain and the the removal of deteriorating structures.

Additionally, Memorial Park now meets the American Disabilities Act requirements after the city installed a sidewalk entrance and leveled the park up to and around Heritage Museum, said Iracsema Quilantan, assistant director for public works operations.

To fund the park’s improvements, the city of Chula Vista received funding as part of a grant from the California Housing Program, which provides cities with funds for rehab projects in low and moderate-income areas.

“Memorial Park was one of several locations for improvement,” Quilantan said.

With the grant the city of Chula Vista has an April 2015 deadline for all park improvements to be completed.

The current modifications completed the first phase of Memorial Park’s enhancements.

“This first phase was really intended to address maintenance issues and safety issues,” Quilantan said. “(Safety issues such as) providing disability access a little better and taking care of some of the cracked sidewalks that we had there before.”

Quilantan said the removal of a shuffleboard platform was the most expensive of all the changes.

The city plans to complete more improvement phases for the park  but Quilantan said the city doesn’t have the funds yet to pursue those plans.

“A master plan will create the community input and how they want to see it in the future,” said Parks Operations Manager Agnes Bernardo.

Quilantan said the upgrades to the park tie in with the Third Avenue streetscape project.

“By removing these (deteriorating) structures we’d have a more open field look into the park and a more usable area for events and Third Avenue businesses to use and the Chula Vista community,” she said.

“It is much more usable and more inviting.”

Bernardo said Memorial Park has had several upgrades throughout the years. She said about 10 years ago improvements were made to the Veterans Memorial down in the bowl, and nearly 20 years ago upgrades were made to Memorial Bowl.

Councilwoman Patricia Aguilar said it is important to modify the park because of its historical nature.

“I’m glad improvements are made,” Aguilar said. “It’s really a special place so we should cherish it.”

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