CITY WILL EXPAND AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO SCANTLEBURY PARK IN THE DIXWELL NEIGHBORHOOD
(5/7/2008) NEW HAVEN- The City of New Haven has announced that Scantlebury Park, located at Bristol and Ashmun Streets in the Dixwell neighborhood, will be expanded with improvements expected to be completed by this fall. Under an agreement approved by the Board of Aldermen Monday, the two-acre park will nearly double in size to more than three-and-a-half-acres and will include: a children’s splash pad, play equipment, a baseball diamond, basketball courts and walking paths and benches.
This park improvement will complement the $89 million Monterey Place development completed by the Housing Authority and the City under the Hope VI program in 2005. The park expansion will add additional open space and recreation areas to the neighborhood. These improvements will be integrated into the adjacent Farmington Canal Greenway which currently runs from Hillhouse Avenue to Shelton Avenue in New Haven and will create a ribbon park linking Long Wharf Pier to the Hamden town line.
The vote on Monday night by the Board of Aldermen added more than an acre to the current size of the park. Achieving approvals from the Board to move forward comes after years of planning and cooperation between the City of New Haven, residents of the Dixwell neighborhood and Yale University. “The favorable vote of the Board of Aldermen opens the door for the City to begin construction and make these improvements to the park so the neighborhood’s families and young people can benefit,” said Kelly Murphy, Economic Development Administrator.
“This is an accomplishment of cooperative efforts and of public-private investments,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “This development would not have been possible without the diligent efforts of all parties involved: community leaders, neighbors, City staff and Yale University. But most importantly this is a testament to the unity and dedication that thrive in the Dixwell neighborhood where residents worked so hard to bring this project to fruition.”
Alderman Greg Morehead (D-22), whose ward the park is located in, called for unanimous consent from the Board on Monday to make this proposal a reality. “I’m just happy to see all of this come about for our community,” said Morehead. “I’m thankful to the residents for sticking by the project and for providing their input to make this a tremendous resource for our neighborhood. I’d also like to thank Yale for their contribution as well as the City and the management team for their efforts.”
The Office of Economic Development negotiated two development agreements with Yale University, one for the new Health Services Building and one that called for the discontinuance of four street ends that will enable the University to build two new residential colleges just off of Prospect Street As part of these agreements, the University has made two donations of $250,000 to underwrite the cost of the park improvements. “The Dixwell neighborhood and the University have developed a great partnership,” said Bruce Alexander, Yale University’s Vice President for New Haven and State Affairs. “We hope to run athletic programs out of the park for neighborhood youth and are glad to contribute to this improvement project.”
Neighborhood resident Ruth Henderson was a driving force in pushing for the park expansion and the design of the improvements. “I’m just relieved that this process is complete, and now there will be a new shining jewel in the Dixwell neighborhood.”
The City of New Haven Department of Parks, Recreation and Trees held numerous community meetings to obtain input from the neighborhood on park improvements. The design for this park was completed in-house. A contractor has already been selected to build the improvements allowing construction to begin as early as this month. Completion and reopening of Scantlebury Park is expected in the fall of 2008.
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