By Michael Durand
On a rainy Thursday, a week before Thanksgiving, the SF Recreation and Park
Department held a ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the West Sunset
Playground after a $13.6 million renovation.
At the site of one of the new batting cages, Phil Ginsburg, the SF Recreation and Park
Department’s general manager, addressed the crowd of a few dozen community
“This spot, for over 60 years, has been one of the most important series of ball fields and
recreation centers in the City. We have 18 acres of athletic fields and, we all know if you
play sports, how precious they are,” Ginsburg said.
West Sunset Playground provides the community with many recreation options,
including baseball, softball, soccer, flag football, tennis and a children’s play area.
“This investment means that many generations of children and families will enjoy clean,
safe and accessible play fields right in their own backyard,” said District 4 Supervisor
Katy Tang, whose district includes the West Sunset Playground.
The playground, located on 41st Avenue, between Ortega and Quintara streets, serves the
community at large as well as several local schools: the Sunset Elementary School; A.P.
Giannini Middle School and St. Ignatius High School, and the nearby Ortega
The renovations include new sod for the ball fields, upgrades to the irrigation system,
improved lighting, new bleacher seating, resurfacing of the tennis courts, upgrades to
restrooms and administrative space for field management. The renovation also included
many accessibility improvements to meet current American Disability Act
(ADA) standards. And, thanks to a grant of $40,000 from Major League Baseball, two
batting cages were added to the baseball diamonds.
The reopening ceremony also provided an opportunity for local, city and state officials to
honor Klaus Waiblinger, who has been teaching in the community for 39 years.
Waiblinger, who is retiring next year, taught at Balboa High School before his 28-year
career at A.P. Giannini, where his boys baseball teams won 16 championships. He also
taught boys soccer for 22 years, bringing home four championships.
For more information on the West Sunset Playground renovation project, go to the
website at http://sfrecpark.org/project/west-sunset-playground-2012-bond.