Dolores Park playground ready for facelift 

The playground in Dolores Park will be demolished next month as part of construction projects extending till April 2014 at one of The City’s most popular palm-tree knolls.

The sandlot and picnic area will be razed and replaced with a 45-foot-long Super Slide, sectioned swing sets and other amenities.

The new $3.5 million Helen Diller Playground — with about 12,000 square feet of additional space — should be ready for romping by summer 2012.

While that project proceeds, the Recreation and Park Department will hold public meetings to discuss when the rest of the park’s $11 million renovation will take place. A loose timeline shows several projects, such as repairs to the irrigation system and upgrades to the tennis courts, will be under construction at various times between October 2012 and April 2014.

Rec and Park spokeswoman Sarah Ballard said construction will be done in stages largely based on community input.

“It’s all tentative until we have a discussion with the community,” she said.

The Friends of Dolores Park Playground, a volunteer-based organization, and the nonprofit Neighborhood Parks Council worked with Rec and Park to secure funds for the playground remodel. The council, a local parks advocacy group, has given the current equipment at the Helen Diller Playground horrible reviews.

“Everyone’s on the same page,” Mary McDermott, a founder of Friends of Dolores Park Playground, said about the playground remodel. “Everyone’s really happy with it.”

Money for Phase 2 — upgrades to the remaining landscape and structures — is coming from a 2008 neighborhood parks bond.

After the rumor last year about a long closure drew concerns, Rec and Park made a website for neighbors to follow the progress of projects:

Work in progress

Tentative timeline for upgrades at Dolores Park:

Helen Diller Playground

June 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012

Jan. 1 to May 1, 2012

Landscape, clubhouse, tennis court

Community planning, design:
June to September

Design development:
October to January

Contract documents:
January to June 2012

Bid, award:
July 2012 to September 2012

October 2012 to January 2014

February 2014 to April 2014

Source: Recreation and Park Department

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Kamala Kelkar

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