The planned improvements in Rockville Centre’s Centennial Park will be paid for in part by a $500,000 grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that was awarded to the village on Jan. 1.
According to Kathleen Murray, the village’s grant writer, the project will cost nearly $2 million, and at least some of the proposed renovations will begin this spring.
The state grant is one of three grants the village has received for the project. It was also awarded $410,000 by Nassau County through Legislator Joseph Scannell, as well as $325,000 by the Nassau County Environmental Bond Fund.
“There are a lot of things we want to do to renovate the park,” Murray said. “The very basics are to redo the pathways, put lighting up and do some landscaping.”
Some of the work has already been completed, including a new police auxiliary building, and the county is currently helping the village resurface the playground. Because it has been difficult to prioritize the work, the rest of the project was put on hold. But the new grant will allow the village to begin some of the proposed renovations in the coming months.
“We’re hoping … we can start getting work done in the spring,” Murray said. “We’d like to renovate the basketball courts, and we’ve already done some work on the Tighe soccer fields.”
She added that an engineer will need to be involved in some of the renovations, and as a result they will take longer. In addition, some of the work will require the involvement of the State Department of Environment Conservation, because some of the area is wetlands.
The village had originally planned to work with Molloy College to create baseball and field hockey fields that met NCAA specifications at Centennial Park, but those plans were canceled in September because engineers concluded that the park’s soil would not properly adequately new artificial turf.
According to Murray, some of the grants will require the village to fund some of the project on its own, though that cost has not yet been determined.