(INDIANAPOLIS) – 28 Indianapolis playgrounds will get a $16.5 million makeover next year.
President Biden’s pandemic relief bill included $65 billion for city parks across the U.S. Indianapolis will resurface some basketball and tennis courts, replace aging equipment, and add new items.
IndyParks principal planner Andre Denman says what might have been state-of-the-art play 20 years ago may leave kids bored today. The new-look playgrounds will include items that will keep kids intrigued, like platforms at different heights or climbing nets.
Mayor Joe Hogsett says renovating a single playground can cost a half-million dollars or more. He says the federal money will allow improvements which otherwise would go on the back burner.
The project includes improvements not just for kids, but adults. The city will install wifi in 20 parks, making a total of 23 with wireless service.
The Treasury Department required the money to be spent in designated census tracts identified as especially hard-hit by the pandemic, or where increased use of the parks during the pandemic created extra maintenance issues. Denman says the city cross-referenced that list with A-to-F grades it had given its 130 playgrounds, and picked playgrounds graded C or lower, with extra emphasis on parks in racially diverse neighborhoods.
Denman says work should begin next fall and be completed in 2023.