Athletics

West Sunset Playground Re-opens After Major Rehab

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.

SB W Sunset Crowd copy

 Several dozen community members and city representatives gathered on a rainy Thursday, Nov. 16, for a ceremony marking the reopening of the West Sunset Playground fields. Photos: Michael Durand

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

members.

 

“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.

SB W Sunset field copy

 Two of the freshly re-sodded baseball fields at the newly renovated
West Sunset Playground.

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

Branch Library.

 

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.

SB W Sunset Batting cage copy

 Students from A.P. Giannini Middle School get together to try out a brand new batting cage at the newly renovated West Sunset Playground ball fields.

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.

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