Mayor W. Reed Gusciora announced Tuesday, May 4, 2021 that following City Council approval, Trenton will advance three major recreation projects across the city, including a renovation of 14 city basketball courts, funding for a design and engineering plan to help bring a soccer field, a skatepark, and other amenities to a 99-acre proposed park near the Assunpink Creek, and a badly needed HVAC replacement for the Mill Hill Playhouse.

Proposed Rendering of Amtico Project | Provided by The City of Trenton

“These are just a few of the projects we have in the works, and we’re happy to kick off the Spring by advancing three proposals that well help bring sports and the arts to our residents and their children,” said Mayor Gusciora. “From new basketball courts citywide to engineering designs that will help turn a brownfield into a brand-new sports complex, I look forward to celebrating the completion of these projects with City Council and the countless Trentonians who will take advantage of them.”

The first, Resolution 21-079, is a citywide basketball court renovation program that will repave, recolor, and restripe basketball courts and install brand new backboards. These renovations will take place at Breunig Avenue Park, Cadwalader Park, Cooper Field, Edgewood Avenue Park, Franklin Park, Ike Williams Center, Jefferson Vincent Park, John Beech Playground, MLK Park, Monsignor Lipinski Park, Pat Pone Park, Sonny Vereen Park, Second Street Park, and Wilkinson Place Park. The basketball court renovation project will take approximately two months to complete.

Resolution 21-131 provides funding to Taylor Design Group Inc. to create architectural designs for the Taylor Avenue to Amtico Square sections of the Assunpink Greenway Park Project, which seeks to transform the vacant industrial properties and brownfields in the area into new recreational space. Due to general flooding of the site by the Assunpink Creek, Taylor Design Group will also be designing the park to be flood resilient.

Current Assunpink Greenway Park designs for Amtico Square include many elements that were incorporated from extensive community outreach, including a street hockey rink, futsal soccer court, and hybrid courts that accommodate multiple other activities. A skatepark will cover approximately one-third of the site. The park will be installed with LED lighting for proper illumination and improved safety for park users.

“The basketball court and playhouse HVAC upgrades will be done over the next few months,” said Director of Recreation, Natural Resources and Culture Maria Richardson. “And while funding sources for the rest of the Assunpink Gateway Project are still being finalized, the resolution authorizing the architectural planning is a key first step. Meanwhile, I encourage all our residents to view the Hetzel Pool parking lot overhaul, the Jackson Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project, and multiple city playground upgrades that are being completed right now.”

Resolution 21-132 allots funding to remove and replace the outdated HVAC system of Mill Hill Playhouse on 205 E Front St. The HVAC system at the Playhouse has been malfunctioning for the last several years, requiring the City to provide portable air conditioners outside the playhouse to keep the building open. The new system will not only be considerably more energy efficient but will also provide the added protection of superior filtering and UV treatment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

All three resolutions passed on April 15, 2021. Director Richardson presented an update of dozens of projects in the works across the city, including the three that were up for Council approval. The entire presentation can be seen here.