San Francisco City officials celebrated the completion of a $ 14.5 million renovation at the Willie “Woo Woo” Wong Playground in Chinatown in time for the New Year on Friday.
The playground at 830 Sacramento Street had been closed for more than two years when the improvements were completed.
The renovations include a new children’s play area, a new clubhouse and improvements to the sports fields.
In the new clubhouse, the city is planning to set up a new community hub that will offer around 12 students personal activities and support.
“I’m thrilled to be opening this playground and beautiful common room in Chinatown in time for the New Year celebrations,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed in a statement. “Parks and playgrounds make cities liveable, especially in dense areas, and investments in neighborhoods and projects like this are critical to San Francisco’s well-being and recovery.”
“This is a big day for the Chinatown community,” said Sarah Wan, executive director of the Community Youth Center.
CYC will oversee the Community Hub program in the new clubhouse.
“CYC is excited to be the primary tenant of the clubhouse where we will support the Community Hubs initiative to provide safe and stable study space for young people in Chinatown who need it most. After all, our goal is the clubhouse and open the playground to areas that offer holistic community programs that promote physical fitness, mental well-being and a healthy lifestyle, “Wan said.
The renovation works in the clubhouse include a new large multi-purpose room with grandstand seating, a kitchenette, an elevator, office space, larger bathrooms and storage space.
Some other elements of the renovation were inspired by Chinese culture, including a climbable water dragon sculpture for children, a fiery phoenix sculpture, and a mural called “Maiden’s Dress” created by local artist Julie Chang.
“As we ring in the Year of the Ox, nothing makes me happier than to know that Chinatown’s youth will soon be shooting hoops on a new basketball court named after a Sino-American legend. Seniors have a safe break to Practice tai chi outdoors Children can use the clubhouse as the newest community learning hub, “said supervisor Aaron Peskin, whose district is part of Chinatown.
The park is named after Willie Wong, a Sino-American basketball player who played for the University of San Francisco from 1948 to 1950.