For the past three years, Sea Isle City has been making major capital improvements to the Dealy Field recreation complex located at 59th Street and Central Avenue. Financed by a $2.8M bond, the bulk of the improvements have now been completed. Final phases are scheduled for 2008.
The centerpiece of the improvement was the reconstruction of the Aurora’s Play-by-the-Bay Playground. The wooden playground was nearly 14 years old, and according to Vicki Feeney, recreation director, it had a great life. However it wasn’t meeting current standards.
“The playground that we had was a community-built project,” she said. “It was an excellent park, but with the new requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Commission for accessibility and safety, we were not in compliance. It wasn’t meeting everyone’s needs.”
The playground was completed last year, meeting federal guidelines for Public Playground Safety. Poured-in-place surfacing, totaling 11,863 square feet, was selected for the safety of all users and for accessibility for individuals who are handicapped.
The playground has sections for children ages 2-5 and ages 5-12. There are 58 play events including 13 sliding boards. The facility is enclosed for safety with a tan vinyl fence with two entrance and exit gates. A patio/picnic area with stone patio pavers is also included. Picnic tables have game board table tops.
The playground is adjacent to other improvements at Dealy Field, including a service building with public restroom and recreation staff facilities, landscaped grounds and updated tennis courts. The most recent improvement phase was for lighting of the hockey, skatepark, and basketball courts, and parking. Additional landscaping is slated for this spring.
In the past two years, county freeholders have also contributed over $600,000 for the Dealy Field improvements from the Cape May County Municipal Public Improvements Joint Venture Program.
The modern state-of-the-art recreation complex is used extensively. “We were packed last summer,” says Feeney, “people need a break from going to the beach all the time and they could find plenty of things to do at Dealy Field.”
The recreation department conducts dozens of programs and events each year at Dealy Field, including sport camps and clinics for all ages, from tots to seniors. The activities schedule for 2008 should be available in April with schedules and registration information.