Dec. 12, 2022 By Christian Murray
A playground in Woodside is about to get a $7.1 million makeover.
Councilmember Julie Won announced Thursday that Lawrence Virgilio Playground, located between 39th Road and 39th Drive, will be undergoing a revamp that will include upgraded play equipment, sprinklers, security lighting, handball courts and more.
The playground was last upgraded in 2007.
“For years, parents and children have advocated for new fences, functioning sprinklers, new play equipment and handball courts, anti-slip play mats, and other renovations at Lawrence Virgilio Playground,” Won said. “Since taking office I advocated for these much-needed repairs and was able to get $7.1 million committed with the partnership of the City Council Speaker and the Queens Borough President.”
The city council has allocated $4.6 million toward the upgrades, with $1 million coming from Won’s discretionary capital funds, and $1.5 million from the borough president’s office.
The funding will cover:
— the reconstruction of the children’s play area with new play equipment, swings, fencing, spray shower area and safety surface
— reconstruction of the sidewalks, asphalt paths, and natural areas near the children’s play area
— reconstruction of four handball courts
— new security lighting for the children’s play area, paths and seating areas
— reconstruction of two adult fitness areas
The playground, which is part of Windmuller Park, was named after Lawrence Virgilio in 2002. Virgilio was a New York City Firefighter who died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Virgilio, who used to visit the playground as a child, served 12 years with the Fire Department, receiving two citations for bravery.
In 2007 the playground/park underwent a $2.1 million upgrade, with the addition of an open-air stage, a renovated ADA-accessible comfort station, mini-pool, exercise track, pathways, fencing, basketball courts, and new exercise equipment. It isn’t clear what the timeline is for the completion of the $7.1 million upgrades.
Windmuller Park is named for Louis Windmuller, a civic leader and business operator who owned the property and summered there until his death in 1913. The land comprising Windmuller Park was acquired from the Windmuller family in 1936 and the park was officially opened to the public in 1937.
“Our playgrounds and parks are the lifelines of our community, but far too many neighborhoods lack the high-quality open spaces the families who call them home deserve,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards. “But with this $7.1 million investment into Lawrence Virgilio Playground, the children of Woodside will have a state-of-the-art playground to call their own.”