DETROIT – The city of Detroit’s resurgence is branching out from downtown and into the neighborhoods.
Romanowski Park in Southwest Detroit got a complete overhaul worth $1.65 million after sitting in disrepair for years.
“It’s now a manifestation of the renaissance of the city of Detroit,” said Wissam Charafeddine, family and community engagement liaison at Universal Academy.
The academy sits next to the park. The updates to the park mark a fresh start for the community.
“During the ribbon ceremony there was someone jogging, so, I’ve never seen that before,” said Chasity Dial, CEO of the American Indian Health and Family.
The wellness center hosts community events at the park. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said it was the people who lived in the area who had the vision of what Romanowski Park could be.
“I was little surprised when the neighbors said, ‘The number one thing you can do to improve our quality of life is make a major investment to Romanowski Park. We consider it our park,’” Duggan said.
The park was last renovated about 20 years ago.
“A lot of trash, holes. I mean, just not very safe for the kids to spend their time at,” said Tina James of American Indian Health and Family.
The city of Detroit held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the park on Friday.
“A decade ago, this park was a mix of a blessing and a challenge for the school. It was not a safe place for children and I remember having to run a couple of times from our old building to put out small fires in the playground before dismissal time,” Charafeddine said.
The 18-hoop basketball courts were funded by the Detroit Pistons. The Ralph C. Wilson Foundation funded the updates to the soccer field and bathrooms. Tennis courts were converted to pickleball courts, which was funded by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Other updates include new playground equipment, a walking path around the park, picnic tables and benches.
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