San Mateo parks may see upgrade 

A new play structure, safe recreational enclosure and heating in classrooms are some of the upgrades planned for two San Mateo parks.

Gateway Park and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and Park in northern San Mateo will receive the improvements later this year if the request to move the $136,000 for the work is approved March 15. A public hearing was held Wednesday.

Heather Stewart, San Mateo’s neighborhood and improvement housing specialist, said because the city and parks are cash-strapped, using money for parks through the Community Development Block Grant is one way to get the work done.

“These parks need some improvements,” she said. “They serve the communities Community Development Block Grant is targeted toward.”

According to city documents, Martin Luther King Jr. Park — located off Monte Diablo Avenue — is set to receive new fencing to close off ball fields during the winter and allow maintenance crews to reseed them.

“They get a lot of use during the summer,” she said. “This way we’ll be able to rejuvenate the fields and curb vandalism.”

The park and community center will also receive an enclosed patio for the preschool that uses the recreation center, for safety purposes during play time. These projects are estimated to cost $56,000.

A teen study room in the park’s recreation building will also have heating installed, Stewart said. The room was converted from a weight room and is made up of concrete walls, so the heating system would be a welcome improvement, she said.

“We’re helping make it a little more pleasurable to be back there,” Stewart said.

Gateway Park will also benefit from the community block grant money being used for these park improvements.

Gateway Park, located off East Third Avenue and serving as the “entryway to San Mateo,” will get a new play structure. The current green and orange steel structure is old, according to Stewart.

“It’s out of date, primarily,” Stewart said. “I’m told it’s about 17 years old, and they have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Also, federal safety codes have changed and so have ADA codes. So we’re installing to update code-acceptable

San Mateo is home to nearly three dozen parks, including Sugarloaf Mountain and Seal Point Park on the San Francisco Bay.

Community development

Improvements planned for two San Mateo parks:

MLK Recreation Center and Park
Patio: Enclosed for use by preschoolers, $36,000
Field fencing: To allow for reseeding in the offseason, $20,000
Restroom privacy: Steel privacy screens for the exterior of the men’s room, $4,000
Teen study room improvements: Baseboard heater and cabinet space, $6,000

Gateway Park
Play structure:
Replace existing equipment and ground surface material

Source: City of San Mateo

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