By Mary O’KEEFE
After about 10 years since the project was first introduced the Fremont Park renovation is officially beginning.
“I can tell you this is one of my favorite parks,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “This is where my [daughter] learned to ride her bike. This is where she learned to ride her scooter. I know every bit of playground equipment here.”
Fremont Park is located at 600 Hahn Avenue in Glendale. This 100-year-old park is about eight acres and is the center of activity for many of the residents that surround the area.
Friedman was at the park last week to announce the state funding of $933,000 that she had acquired to help in the park’s renovations.
“They have been planning this renovation at this park since 2014. This has been a long time coming,” said Stephen Meek, president, Glendale Community Services Commission. “I really love this park. I am here at least three times a week.”
Mayor Dan Brotman and Glendale City Councilmember Elen Asatryan were on hand to celebrate the additional funding and the beginning of the renovation.
Brotman said there had been a lot of “rumbling” in the past concerning the costs of the renovation, about $26.6 million, but he added the park is very important to the community and is one of the largest parks that is near so many multifamily residential areas.
“This is a heavily used park,” he said.
He praised the unique community feel of the park, which includes a railroad club and a very active tennis court academy.
Brotman said the future renovations will reach even more people with an additional “splash pad” to help keep kids cool during the hot summer days.
There will also be a new community room that will be used by the community in a variety of ways.
Asatryan called Fremont Park her “childhood park” and pointed out the park is near the future affordable housing development that will include “340 units” for residents.
Onnig Bulanikian, director of Community Services and Parks, said the construction would begin on Oct 16 and is scheduled to be completed by February 2025. He added there would be a new basketball court, a multipurpose field that could be used for football and/or soccer, a designated area for art, a walking path, exercise equipment and the City’s seventh pickle-ball court.
“I am very pleased to say the state is going to help the City of Glendale make this an even greater park,” Friedman said.