Richard C. Howard Park, formerly known as the South Broadway Park, had been under renovations for a few years and recently reopened in September. The project was complex and encountered many obstacles. Mayor Gary Christenson believes the financing for the $6.5 million project was one of the biggest challenges, while Executive Director of the Malden Redevelopment Authority, Deborah Bark, believes that putting together varying partnerships was equally as difficult. However, both were in agreement that the project came out wonderfully.
The park has a new scenic grass field for sports such as baseball, soccer, and football as well as a new playground for ages ranging from preschool to elementary school. Four tennis courts have been added to the park along with new lighting for a night games for the first time.
The parking lot is spacious and is now safer for pedestrians to walk from the nearby store to the park. The field has been renamed after Robert “Bob” Rotondi, the legendary coach of famed baseball player Babe Ruth. The park was renamed after a former mayor of Malden, Richard C. Howard. Both men were well known and loved within the city; it is only natural that the park and field be named after them.
According to Mayor Christenson, Malden has always prided itself on keeping its parks in good condition for the many children, families, and sports organizations that use them. He wants Malden to be a city that offers many recreational possibilities. If there were more funds available he says that the city would be working on renovating the Roosevelt Park behind the Salemwood school.
Currently the city is in the process of redeveloping the downtown area. It plans to relocate the police station and demolish the current city hall building. After city hall is removed, there are plans to rebuild the street and have the area used primarily as retail space for new businesses. It is a tiring process but Mayor Christenson says that ”patience is a virtue”. With the amount of time and effort put into the park and redeveloping the downtown area, the mayor and the city council have patience to spare. So if you have time or need to get the kids out of the house, head over to the Richard C. Howard Park.