Leo Dignam, a deputy commissioner for the city Department of Parks and Recreation, last week told members of the Holmesburg Civic Association that work is progressing well at Ramp Playground, which is getting a new artificial turf surface.
Seravalli Contractors Inc. is performing the work, and it could be done by the end of January. The company put the turf down at Abraham Lincoln High School’s Barfoot Bowl.
“They’re moving along very nicely,” Dignam said of the Ramp project.
Dignam, a 1977 Father Judge High School graduate who was the recreation leader at Ramp from 1986-95, said the school wanted to buy the playground in 2006, but the site — at Rowland and Solly avenues — is too well-used for the city to abandon.
“Oh no, you’re not going to buy Ramp Playground,” he remembers saying five years ago at a meeting.
The basketball courts, foot hockey court and playground equipment will remain. The other half of the property will be converted into a baseball field and a multi-purpose field.
“They’re going to be beautiful-looking fields,” Dignam said.
The multipurpose field will be used for soccer, lacrosse, rugby and JV and freshman football games and varsity football practices. The rest of the grounds will include new fencing, lighting, scoreboards and bleachers. Also, the sidewalks on the perimeter of the property will be repaired.
Other groups including Crispin Gardens Athletic Club, Lansing Knights Youth Organization and St. Jerome CYO will be permitted to continue using the fields.
A hill used for sledding during snowstorms has been eliminated.
The previous football field was known by some as the “Dust Bowl” because of the amount of dirt that was kicked up during games. There will be porous asphalt between the fields that will allow for maximum water drainage.
The $2.8 million project is being paid for by the Friends of Father Judge High School Inc. and the city.
Holmesburg Playground opened in 1961 on the site of a former quarry. Today, it is named in memory of James J. Ramp, a police officer who lived on nearby Arthur Street who was killed in a 1978 showdown with the radical group MOVE in Powelton Village.
In other news from the Dec. 13 meeting:
• Floss Flade has been named acting vice president. She replaces Patti Vaughn, who gave up the position. Flade will serve until the next scheduled election, in November.
• The Tacony and Holmesburg/Upper Mayfair Town Watch groups are looking for members.
Generally, members patrol Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. Call 215-335-3438 or visit www.tactw.org
• The 15th Police District will hold a Police Service Area 3 meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m., at Tacony Baptist Church, at Hegerman and Disston streets.
• Holmesburg Civic Association will meet on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 7:15 p.m., at Holmesburg Recreation Center, at Ditman and Rhawn streets. ••
Reporter Tom Waring can be reached at 215-354-3034 or firstname.lastname@example.org