Mayor Jim Kenney today joined Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong and City officials to break ground on a $2.2 million renovation of the Miles Mack Playground in Mantua. Councilmember Jamie Gauthier and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell joined the Mayor and community members to celebrate the start of construction. Miles Mack is one of ten projects entering construction in 2020 through Rebuild, the Kenney Administration’s signature initiative to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries.
Mantua residents met with Rebuild in 2019 to agree on a new design for the site, including: new play structures, a spray ground, refurbished basketball courts, and site regrading and resurfacing. As a result of community feedback, Rebuild expanded its scope to include significant renovations to the well used and well loved recreation building. Building improvements will include a new kitchenette, new heating and cooling systems, and new window fittings. In partnership with Mural Arts Philadelphia, the project will also include a touch up of the iconic mural of the late community leader Miles Mack, for whom the site was named.
“Rebuild is making critical investments in community spaces that have been too often overlooked for generations,” said Mayor Kenney. “Miles Mack Playground is part of the fabric of this community, and a stable influence for children growing up here. I look forward to coming back soon to cut the ribbon on the improved playground and recreation building here in Mantua.”
“This community’s dedication to the Miles Mack Playground is inspiring,” Councilmember Jamie Gauthier said. “It is a joy to represent such a vibrant, caring community, and I’m so pleased that through Rebuild we are able to make such significant investments in this community space. My thanks to all of our partners here for sharing the community’s dedication to this playground, and all of our neighborhood public spaces.”
Rebuild has completed over 40 capital projects to improve neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries. The program currently has work underway at 65 facilities across the City, representing over $160 million in committed funds.
“Rebuild is working urgently to deliver safe, high quality places for residents to learn, play, and grow,” said Rebuild Executive Director Kira Strong. “Here in Mantua, and across the City, families are relying on their rec centers to provide services, supports, and the strong sense of community that we need right now. At Miles Mack, and across Philadelphia, Rebuild is working to deliver improvement projects that support sustainable neighborhoods, and a more equitable City, with a diverse and inclusive building trades workforce.”
“Neighborhood recreation centers are vital life lines for families and residents,” said Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell. “For too long neighborhood playgrounds like Miles Mack made do with too little investment, working out of aging facilities that did not live up to what Philadelphians deserve of their community spaces. I am so excited to see this investment in Miles Mack. It’s been a long time coming and is very well deserved.”
Construction is now underway, and is expected to last 9 to 12 months.
To stay up to date on the Miles Mack project, visit rebuild.phila.gov.
Rebuilding Community Infrastructure (Rebuild) is an investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in neighborhood parks, recreation centers and libraries. Proposed in Mayor Jim Kenney’s first budget as a part of his vision for a more equitable Philadelphia, Rebuild seeks to improve pivotal community spaces, empower and engage communities, and promote economic opportunity through diversity and inclusion. Rebuild is a public private partnership made possible by the Philadelphia Beverage Tax.
Philadelphia Parks & Recreation (PPR) advances the prosperity of the city and the progress of her people through intentional and sustained stewardship of nearly 10,200 acres of public land and waterways as well as through hundreds of safe, stimulating recreation, environmental and cultural centers. PPR promotes the well-being and growth of the city’s residents by connecting them to the natural world around them, to each other and to fun, physical and social opportunities. PPR is responsible for the upkeep of historically significant Philadelphia events and specialty venues, and works collaboratively with communities and organizations in leading capital projects and the introduction of inventive programming. To learn more about Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, visit us at www.phila.gov/parksandrec, and follow @philaparkandrec on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram