4 THE QUEENS COURIER • JULY 11, 2019 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
College Point to Parks: Get moving on fi eld project!
BY CARLOTTA MOHAMED
Aft er a hiatus on the development of
a football fi eld at a College Point Sports
Complex, the project is moving forward
and construction is anticipated to begin
in November 2019, according to a spokesperson
from the Parks Department.
Th e project, currently in the procurement
stage, will construct a natural turf
football fi eld at an undeveloped portion of
the College Point Fields located between
130th and Ulmer streets, between 23rd
and 26th avenues, which includes a soccer
fi eld and hockey rink.
“Construction will include a new connection
into the park from Linden Place
and new amenities will include drinking
fountains with bottle fi llers, bleachers,
pathway security lighting and additional
plantings,” said the Parks Department.
BY EMILY DAVENPORT
Cops are looking for the suspect who
shot a woman on the streets of Astoria
on Tuesday morning.
According to authorities, police
responded to a 911 call at 10:10 a.m.
on July 9 regarding a woman shot at
23-02 34th Ave. EMS responded to the
scene and transported the victim to
University Hospital in serious but stable
Police confi rmed that the victim was
shot in the face.
A report from the Citizen App indicates
that police are searching for a suspect,
who is described as a man in a
red, white and blue hoodie, however
police could not provide a description
of the suspect at this time.
As Th e Courier went to press on
Wednesday, no arrests had been made,
and the investigation was still ongoing.
Th e project received $5,050,000 from
the City Council and $2,000,000 from the
Mayor’s Offi ce — a combined total funding
of $7,050,000. Construction is expected
to take 18 months, according to the
Th e football fi eld has been long overdue,
according to Richard Fabrizi, football
coach and president of the Whitepoint
Football and Cheer organization, which
serves over 400 families teaching football
to children ages 5 to 14. Th e organization
splits their league with two fi elds
to accommodate families and would like
a football fi eld of their own, Fabrizi told
QNS last year.
Fabrizi had petitioned the city in 2016
to build a football fi eld at the site.
When the Parks Department had
approved the capital project in 2016 to
construct the football fi eld with allocated
funding from Councilman Paul Vallone
and Borough President Melinda Katz,
Fabrizi thought the dream of having their
own football fi eld was coming to fruition.
However, last year, the project was still
in the design phase with no word from the
Parks Department, according to Fabrizi.
“We are losing kids by the truck load,
parents are worried about Flushing Fields
conditions (holes, rocks, swamp when it
rains, dog manure) as well as adult soft -
ball being played as our kids are practicing
and playing, then there is the handball
courts that have been plagued by marijuana
at all times of the day,” said Fabrizi in a
statement to QNS.
Last year, Whitestone residents reached
out to the Parks Department regarding the
long awaited football fi eld in the College
Point complex, said Alfredo Centola,
president of the We Love Whitestone
Construction of the football fi eld was
originally slated to begin in September
2016 with a projected completion in
January 2018. However, the project was
delayed aft er the Parks Department noted
the challenges of building on the site,
which is a former landfi ll located within
a NYS DEC Freshwater Wetland Zone.
“Consideration of saturated soil, soil
settling, and the location in proximity to
wetlands are essential for understanding
any design solution,” said the Parks
Francis Lewis Park to get long-awaited makeover
BY JENNA BAGCAL
A Whitestone park will get some
long-awaited improvements thanks in
part to funding from a Queens councilman.
As part of the nearly $19 million
Councilman Paul Vallone secured in capital
funding, the lawmaker announced
that he and the City Council had allocated
$2 million for improvements at Francis
Lewis Park. Vallone secured this funding
for northeast Queens as part of the
$92.8 billion budget agreement between
Mayor de Blasio and the City Council
back in June.
The councilman’s office allocated
$300,000 and partnered with Speaker
Corey Johnson to allocate an additional
$1.7 million. Th e funding will go
toward improvements including pathway
repavings and updates to the Th ird
Avenue entrance of the park as well as the
“I am thrilled to announce this funding
allocation, which will go a long way to
improve one of northeast Queens’ waterfront
gems,” said Vallone. “Access to our
public spaces is an integral part of ensuring
sustained quality of life in northeast
Queens. I thank Speaker Johnson
for his partnership, and I know these
improvements will be enjoyed by families
in northeast Queens for years to come!”
According to Vallone’s offi ce, he will
meet with community leaders this winter
to discuss the scope of the upgrades to
Francis Lewis Park.
Over the past 27 years, Francis Lewis
Park has received several renovations
and upgrades. In 1992, the park received
a $466,000 upgrade to reconstruct the
shoreline, overlook and embankment
areas to correct and prevent severe erosion.
In 1999, former Queens Borough
President Claire Shulman advocated for
the installation of a bocce court.
In April 2019, Whitestone resident
Jonathan Salazar saw the completion of
the park’s own Little Free Library, a takeand
return public book system he had
been pushing since 2018.
“Francis Lewis Park is the crown
jewel of our community,” said We Love
Whitestone Civic President Alfredo
Centola. “We Love Whitestone, along
with Friends of Francis Lewis Park,
have been discussing upgrades with
Councilman Vallone that would enhance
our crown jewel. We are pleased to be
part of this process and look forward to
the fi nal product to be enjoyed by our
community for years to come. We thank
the councilman for securing the funds to
make this happen.”
Photo via Google Maps
Photo credit: NYC Parks
Francis Lewis Park
Photo by Carlotta Mohamed/QNS
The soccer fi eld at the College Point Sports Complex looks great, but residents are waiting for the
football fi eld to be constructed.