Emanuel breaks ground on new playground at Cornell Square Park - FOX 13 News

Emanuel breaks ground on new playground at Cornell Square Park

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Mayor Rahm Emanuel attended a ground-breaking ceremony Saturday for a new playground at the Back of the Yards park where 13 people were shot in September.

Chicago Park District Supt. Michael P. Kelly and Ald. Willie B. Cochran also gathered with the mayor and area residents to break ground for a new playground at Cornell Square Park, 1809 W. 50th St., according to a release issued by the mayor's office.

An estimated $577,000--including $335,000 from NATO and $242,000 from the park district--will be invested into the playground, which was last renovated in 1991.

According to the mayor's office, new playground equipment will be installed that exceeds accessibility guidelines set by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project will also involve new benches, lighting and landscape work.

"Adding in this new playground will help us ‘take back the park' and bring the community together by offering a new, safe space for children and families to play," Cochran said in the release.

Thirteen people, including a 3-year-old boy, were wounded when two gunmen opened fire on a crowd gathered on one of the park's basketball courts Sept. 19. Six men have been charged in the shooting, which prosecutors said was revenge for a minor gang-related shooting several hours earlier.

Earlier this month, Emanuel announced a "Play Safe, Stay Safe" program, in which the park district will help fund overtime for increased police patrols in parks, according to the release.

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