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Renovations on Kiwanis Community Park to begin this weekend


Elizabeth Medora

NEW RIVER – The Kiwanis Community Park in New River is getting some TLC this summer. Work is slated to begin July 17. Community volunteers are welcome to join in the work.

The community park, located off 15th Ave. and New River Road in New River, will be seeing new use in coming months. The ball fields are being cleared up, and new teams will be coming to play. With more people using the park, some areas need some updating and renovation.

“We realized we needed to have the bathrooms updated,” noted Kiwanis member Tony Gutowski, who is spearheading the renovation efforts.  “After 25 years, it needed to be done. There’s nothing wrong with the building; it just needs some TLC. With our hard water, it’s just tearing up everything.”

Daniel Ficker, manager of the Tramonto Home Depot, will be helping provide both supplies and labor for the project.

Ficker noted that there will be “quite a few phases” for the park renovation project. Ficker said the first phase will be the bathroom.

“We’re going to be repainting and resurfacing the whole thing,” Ficker said, adding that they will be putting in all new bathroom fixtures.

“That will be the first phase,” Ficker noted. The next phase will be resurfacing the concrete pad at the park. Ficker added that they are planning to install a large grill so park-goers can grill food on-site. They also plan to replant some trees and add irrigation; the trees will provide shade for the playground area.

Ficker got involved with the project after being approached by New River/Desert Hills Community Association representatives and Kiwanis members. Ficker offered store resources to help with a community project and was put in touch with Tony Gutowski, who was overseeing the Kiwanis Community Park renovation.

“Tony walked me through the park and told me his dream for it,” Ficker described. “I reached out to my vendors and my store and my peers in the district.”

Local companies have stepped up to help; Joe Esposito of Dynamic Plumbing will be helping renovate the bathrooms. Through Home Depot, Ficker has arranged for donations of supplies from vendors Behr, Rapid Set Concrete, and Oldcastle Concrete. Home Depot is donating some of the supplies, as well as significant labor for the project.

“We are going to be doing the first phase,” Ficker said. “My team is going to be out there on the 17th of July.”

The renovation will continue throughout the summer. Volunteer help would be greatly appreciated to get the work finished and get the park in excellent working condition. Anyone who would like to help can call Tony Gutowski at (623) 229-6820.

“This is just one of the things we have an idea for,” Gutowski said, referring to this weekend’s renovation work. “We’re working toward getting more shade out there, like canopies and trees, and adding a barbecue.”

The ultimate goal in the renovation is to get the park in good shape so that, as Gutowski says, “People can start using the park more and more.”