Mom gets go-ahead for SoMa playground

By this time next year, Adha Rodriguez’s 2-year-old son, along with hundreds of other children in the  Rincon Hill and Barbary Coast areas, could be enjoying a playground in their own neighborhood.

The dream to build a play structure in an area of The City where there currently is not any became a reality last week. Recreation and Park Department officials gave Rodriguez the green light to build a playground, according to an e-mail from the department.

The approval came three months after Rodriguez put the idea together.

Though she gained approval for the 4,800-square-foot concrete area at Justin Herman Plaza next to proposed bocce ball courts, Rodriguez said there is a long way to go.

Rodriguez first approached The City in July with hopes of building a sustainable playground on the corner of Steuart and Howard streets, but found the property was already leased by the Redevelopment Agency. 

After hearing of a $61,000 gift from laborers and businesses near Justin Herman Plaza to build bocce ball courts, Rodriguez set her sights on the concrete right next to it.

“We wanted the area next to the bocce ball courts, not the same space,” Rodriguez previously told The San Francisco Examiner.

The catch to getting the green light to build the playground — which includes a rubber floor, a jungle gym complete with slides and bridges, and a structure in the shape of a train made out of recycled material — is that Rodriguez and supporters must raise money to build and maintain the playground.

A goal of $400,000 for permits, materials and maintenance has been set.

Rodriguez said she’d like to get the playground built by next summer. She said once the money is in place and the playground equipment is purchased, construction would only take up to four weeks.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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