County announces upgrades to West Side Park in Newark

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo joins with other officials to mark the completion of a modernization project at Essex County's West Side Park in Newark. Credits: Essex County

When Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo was first elected to office in 2003, the county-owned West Side Park was among the worst in the county park system, he recalled Friday during a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the completion of a overhaul of the park.

"We made a commitment to update the playing areas so children here would have the same recreational opportunities as other places - and we fulfilled that promise," DiVincenzo said. "These facilities get a great deal of use by the community and it was time to come back and update the football field, track, and basketball and tennis courts with modern equipment."

The projects included installing new synthetic playing surfaces on the football field and track, updating the basketball and tennis courts with new surfaces and equipment. 

Sign Up for E-News

"It's great to see that people in the community are already taking advantage of the renewed facilities," Freeholder Rufus Johnson said.

United Community Corporation Executive Director Craig Mainor said the community is grateful for the upgrades to the community center, playground and the athletic facilities.

"We couldn't be happier and look forward to continuing our partnership with Essex," Mainor said. 

The football field received a synthetic grass surface and the running track received a rubberized surface in 2006 when the sports complex was first upgraded. The basketball and tennis courts were upgraded with new playing surfaces, equipment and sports lighting in 2004. 

In addition, to the new court surfaces, benches, trash receptacles and drainage upgrades are included. Due to regular use, each of these recreation facilities needed to be replaced.

The football field and track improvements were designed in-house by the Department of Public Works, which also monitored the project.

Landtek Group, Inc. from Amityville, N.Y., received a publicly-bid contract for $848,968 to perform the construction work. It was funded through the Essex County Capital Budget. The project started in early March and was completed in four months.

The basketball and tennis court improvements were designed in-house by the Department of Public Works, which also monitored the project.

Picerno-Giordano Construction from Kenilworth receive a publicly-bid contract for $257,295 to perform the construction work. It was funded with a grant from the Essex County Recreation and Open Space Trust Fund. The project started in April and was completed in just three months.

Since DiVincenzo has been in office, a number of projects helped to revitalizing West Side Park.

In 2004, a 22-car parking lot was created, the main park entrance was revamped for better access, restroom facilities near the tennis courts were renovated, and the park entrances along 17th Street were enhanced. 

In the spring of 2007, the New Jersey Tree Foundation beautified the park by planting 40 new trees inside the park and along the park's perimeter. 

A synthetic grass baseball field was installed and the locker room and rest room facilities were renovated in November 2007. 

In 2009, a new spray park with climbing apparatus and a synthetic safety surface was developed. 

In 2015, the Community Center received a complete renovation with new flooring, windows, doors, HVAC system and lighting. 

In 2016, the playground was modernized with new equipment and a rubberized safety surface and the parking lot was expanded.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Traffic shifts this weekend as bridge replacement project advances

March 1, 2018

Newark, NJ—New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) officials announced Thursday a long-term traffic shift on I-280 eastbound and I-280 westbound starting this weekend to allow for bridge replacement work to advance to the final stage in construction of the I-280 and Route 21 Interchange Improvements Project in Newark.

Beginning Friday, March 2, the NJDOT is scheduled to ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, April 3, 6:00 PM

Rutgers University Paul Robeson Center Essex Room, Newark

Newark Trust for Education Board of Education ...



Sat, April 7, 9:00 AM

Vince Lombardi Community Center, Newark

North Ward Mini Job Fair

Business & Finance

Rutgers to close for Wednesday storm

March 20, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - With the likelihood of more than a foot of snow set to dump on New Jersey, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi has declared a weather emergency closure for all three campuses: New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden.

School will be closed for students and all non-essential employees from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 21 to 5 a.m. Thursday, March 22.

Rutgers voices support for proposed state budget

NEW BRUNSWICK - Rutgers University officials have often been wary of the governor's annual budget message, wondering what type of budget cuts the university may sustain and how it would potentially impact tuition and the overall quality of education.

This budget message, delivered March 13, appears to be a sigh of relief.

Pete McDonough, Vice President of External Affairs at ...

Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey welcome first African-American leader in its history

PISCATAWAY - One of the largest Girl Scout councils in New Jersey, Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey (GSHNJ), today announced the appointment of longtime advocate of girl empowerment and Girl Scouting, Natasha Hemmings, to Chief Executive Officer. Hemmings will take the GSHNJ helm on April 9.

Hemmings, a Piscataway resident who holds a Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers ...

DEP Control Ensures Protection for New Jersey's Vulnerable Birds

March 23, 2018

Dear Editor: In January, the Department of Environmental Protection regained control of the state-owned North Brigantine Natural Area when a long-term management agreement with the city of Brigantine expired. DEP introduced new permitting guidelines which will greatly reduce human disturbance and increase protections for shore birds. NJ Audubon applauds the DEP for its efforts to better ...