Neighborhood basketball court gets overhaul

Joe Prisco, a senior citizen who lives near the Anderson Avenue playground, has been attending Board of Aldermen meetings for several years to remind city officials that the playground’s basketball court needed upgrades and repairs.

Last week, Prisco took the ceremonial first shot at the newly revamped courts.

Prisco, an advocate for youth activities, was joined by Mayor Benjamin G. Blake; Director of Recreation Paul Piscitelli; Chairman of Parks, Beach and Recreation Commission Dan Worroll, and residents of the Anderson Avenue neighborhood.

The courts were closed for two months while a renovation project was completed.

The project replaced the previously existing basketball court with two new courts.

“This is a very popular neighborhood park that includes a playground, four tennis courts, two of which double as pickleball courts; a small picnic shelter, and an open field for unstructured play,” Piscitelli said.

Prisco said the city did a beautiful job.

With the additional courts, the “little kids don’t get pushed off when the bigger kids come to play,” Prisco said, adding that it’s nice to see the younger children able to enjoy the courts.

“This  is one of the most beautiful courts in Milford,” Prisco said.

The City of Milford bought the property in June of 1958 and developed it as a playground around 1966 with playground equipment and picnic tables.

A few years later the tennis courts and basketball courts were added.

The recent renovation cost $31,000, paid out of the Recreation Department budget.

“The surface of the basketball court was over 30 years old and as a result it had large cracks in it,” Piscitelli said. “The surface would puddle, and it needed a facelift.”

The whole area is a little more than three acres, which makes it one of the city’s larger playgrounds. But the equipment is consistent with the other sites in the city.

There are 19 playgrounds in Milford, not including school playgrounds.

“Each year we try to update one or two sites based on available money and try to update oldest ones first,” Piscitelli said.

"All the playgrounds are unique,” he added. “The city has tried to vary the sites around town to appeal to the different age groups that equipment is manufactured for.  All the playgrounds are designed so children can take risks and challenge themselves in a play environment that’s stimulating”