Midvale Park gets money to complete park transformation

Grijalva School Park will get complete makeover

CREATED Jul. 13, 2011

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Reporter: Claire Doan

TUCSON (KGUN-TV) – Turning around a gang-infested dangerous is no small feat, but residents of Midvale Park say they have done just that in the last few years, with some hard work and cooperation. And now they’ve just gotten roughly $300,000 to make even more upgrades.

The money from federal funds, bonds and a grant will be used for new soccer and baseball fields, installing additional streetlamps and creating more pathways for the Grijalva School Park. Those improvements will be added to the basketball court, skating areas and playgrounds that were recently built there.

“I talked about five or six years ago about changing the dynamics here. The writing was literally on the walls. There was graffiti. There were gangs. It was a scary place,” said Joe Miller, President of the Midvale Park Neighborhood Association.

“Now, if you look around, all you see is kids. They walked or skateboarded or rode their bikes here [to Grijalva School Park]. This has really become the town center for Midvale.”

Miller said that a place for family get-togethers and for children to play basketball and skate may sound simple but has completely transformed the area and its youth, emphasizing that further improvements will build upon that.

“When we get a baseball field, now you have a baseball coach and all those kids and then a soccer field and all those kids, then you have a process where kids and adults and families could really celebrate,” Miller said. 

Councilwoman Regina Romero emphasized that while the upgrades are cosmetic, such as a median for safer street-crossing, they hit the heart of what Midvale Park residents want and need.

“Sidewalks, beautification, streetlights, repaving and improving the neighborhood parks is a quality of life issue,” Romero said. “People want to live in a neighborhood that has sidewalks, parks … where you feel safe.”

Romero said the funds have taken years to secure with the help of TUSD, the city and the county – and is the culmination of cooperation and dedication by numerous residents.