Excelsior Playground sees improvements after rat infestation, attempted break-in at clubhouse
The hole where a rat chewed through a bathroom door into the clubhouse has been patched with metal. The lock that was jimmied by an attempted burglar has been repaired. New landscaping has been planted along some benches by the play area.
Not everything is fixed ? yet ? but residents say recent improvements to the Excelsior Playground that many felt was neglected make the park feel almost new again.
The enhancements came after residents voiced concerns about safety at the playground, including a rodent infestation, leaky gutters, damaged play equipment and a door damaged in an attempted break-in that remained broken for weeks, as detailed in a Feb. 15 article in the San Francisco Examiner.
“The flavor of the place [has changed],” said Thomas Madrid, a volunteer at the YMCA that operates out of the park’s clubhouse and offers after-school programs to about 25 kids, of the improvements to the park.
“The adults stand around watching their kids play and talk about how nice it is now, and what is moving forward,” he said.
The condition of the Excelsior Playground was no secret. According to the 2014-15 Park Maintenance Standards report, compiled annually by the Controller’s Office, the Excelsior Playground scored the lowest out of every other school-age play area in The City.
Last month, Madrid told the Examiner that repeated attempts to contact city officials about safety concerns at the Excelsior Playground clubhouse yielded few results. Most significantly, a door between the boy’s bathroom and clubhouse that was jimmied around Jan. 13 and remained broken for nearly a month