National nonprofit and Mayor’s office bring new park to the Central Northside with a bang


The current playground in Allegheny Commons is highly utilized and in great need of repair, which is why it was chosen for renovation. (Photo by Kelsey Shea)

With the help of Central Northsiders, neighborhood kids, the mayor’s office and a national nonprofit, Allegheny Commons Park will receive a renovated, safe and up-to date playground in June.

KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that builds playgrounds in a single day, is partnering with the Mayor’s Office, the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities and the Central Northside Neighborhood Council to rebuild the playground at the corner of Palo Alto Street and W. North Avenue.

“The new equipment will provide educational opportunities, and the up-to-code equipment will ensure safety,” said Rebecca Delphia of the servePGH initiative.

The PLCM builds a KaBOOM! playground each year in conjunction with their annual conference. This year, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl will host the conference at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in June.

The Department of Public Works chose the playground in the Central Northside to receive the renovation because the current structure is worn down, aged an identified as highly utilized and in great need of repair.

In mid-February, the partners for this project will host a Design Day, kicking off the planning process. This day will take place at the site of the new playground and include residents — both adults and children — of the Northside, who will participate in designing the new playground.

According to Delphia, Northside residents will be able to voice their opinions as to what the new playground should include and help build the playground during the Build Day in June.

KaBOOM! playgrounds are built in just one day with the help of 200 volunteers from the community. Volunteers for this project will include members of the PCLM as well as the Mayor’s Office, but members of the community will also be able to help.

After the Design Day, the CNNC and Mayor’s Office will form planning committees. The entire planning process will take from 13 to 15 weeks, culminating in June with the Build Day.

The Build Day coincides with the PLCM conference. When the playground is built, children will have to stay off the site for about a week to allow the concrete to set. After this period, the playground will be open to the public.  

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that has built over 2,000 playgrounds in the past 15 years. One of these playgrounds already exists in the Northside at the Alpine Parklet between Alpine Avenue and Jacksonia Street.

The project will be funded in large part by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and is a part of Mayor Ravenstahl’s servePGH initiative.

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