New equipment and renovations are coming to a park in Atlanta’s historic Westside community.
The city broke ground Wednesday on the $2 million renovation project for John F. Kennedy Park. The project is part of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee’s Legacy 53 initiative and is made possible through contributions from the NFL Foundation, The Arthur M. Blank Foundation and ticket sales from the July 29 Atlanta Falcons pre-season practice, according to a press release.
“It’s really an investment in supporting and promoting a healthy lifestyle and an active lifestyle for the young children of this community,” said Dan Corso at a news conference, who is president of the Atlanta Sports Council and chairman of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee Board of Directors.
Corso highlighted some of the renovations that will take place in the park:
A full-size turf field
A lighted walking path around the park’s perimeter
A new basketball court
An shaded picnic area
New exercise equipment
An exercise system designed by Fit-Trail
New playground equipment
The park’s old playground equipment will be moved to Ashby Circle Playlot.
Corso said this project would be “one of the lasting legacies to Super Bowl LIII.”
At the news conference Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said this community is special to her because it was where she used to take ballet lessons as a child. She said that when her family encountered a difficult time, she had to stop those ballet lessons.
“To be here today really is a reminder of the restoration that has come in my life personally to stand here as mayor, but also as a restoration that is coming in a very tangible way to our community,” Lance Bottoms said.
“We’re excited for the Westside communities, especially the Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods,” said Atlanta Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong. “It’s part of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ‘One Atlanta’ vision to ensure that residents in communities are thriving and get equitable investments, and we think Kennedy Park today symbolizes that.”
She said renovations should be completed by the beginning of 2019, and the park will officially reopen during the week of the Super Bowl LIII, which takes place Feb. 3, 2019 at Atlanta’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium.