San Juan kicks off 3-part improvement project at Central Park
By The Star Staff
San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced on Sunday the start of improvements and expansions at Dr. Hernán Padilla Central Park in Santurce and Hato Rey. The total cost of the projects will exceed $9.4 million and will be developed in three phases, the first starting today.
“After years without the necessary improvements being made and after having suffered the ravages of Hurricane Maria, the iconic Dr. Hernán Padilla Central Park will be expanded and improved for the enjoyment of all,” Romero Lugo said. “Today we start a comprehensive project of million-dollar improvements that are necessary for our Central Park to live up to what our San Juan residents deserve.”
The mayor said the first of the announced improvements will involve the total reconstruction of the main entrance, with the complete renovation of the façade, new curbs, replacement of asphalt at the entrance, lighting, remodeling of the booth entrance with new gates and bars, and remodeling of the welcome mural just after the main entrance. This first phase will have an approximate construction period of eight months.
The second phase includes the rehabilitation of existing sports and recreational facilities and the addition of new sports facilities. The mayor said the sports offer will be diversified by adding six new pickleball courts, four new paddle tennis courts and eight sand courts for beach volleyball and beach tennis. The second phase will also include the reconstruction of and improvements to existing facilities such as the reconstruction of the racquetball courts, tennis courts, the administration building, the total resurfacing of the athletic track and improvements to the soccer field.
In addition, the complete reconstruction of the trail or jogging track was announced, which includes new lighting and improvements to the boys’ and girls’ park.
The mayor said the second phase would begin with bidding that is in process this June and the holding of additional bids during the months of June, September and October of this year.
The third phase of improvements involves the complete rehabilitation of the natatorium, the repair of the damages caused by the hurricanes, and new improvements will also be added in outdoor areas, swimming pools, stands, concessionaires, bathrooms and offices. The bidding for the third phase will take place during the first half of 2024.
“Since our arrival in 2021, we have been making improvements to the grounds of this park so that it can be used by all residents and visitors,” the mayor said. “As part of our commitment to return the sports and recreational facilities to the people of San Juan, we set ourselves the task of enabling it to reopen. Due to the terrible conditions in which it was found and the lack of improvements made, we have started this comprehensive project that will result in a first-rate facility for all our residents of San Juan and those who visit us.”
Central Park receives 60,000 monthly visitors. It has also hosted local and international sports competitions in various disciplines, in addition to receiving athletes from all over the world for whom it serves as a practice facility.