Construction on a major improvement project at a popular city of Binghamton park is expected to start early next year.

Mayor Richard David says the facility that's planned for the downtown Columbus Park could cost between $4 million and $5 million.

David said the facility in Binghamton's urban core will provide young people with "recreational and educational opportunities they deserve." He said it also will "transform a key downtown neighborhood."

The mayor said the project could serve as "a beacon of hope for a brighter future for all kids that the entire community can rally around."

The center will have a gymnasium, kitchen, community rooms and offices.

The spray pad at Binghamton's Columbus Park on August 25, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

David said the city will work with the Change Coalition, a community group that was formed following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.

The mayor said he plans to meet with coalition members and residents to develop plans for the park project.

The new center will complement a separate $500,000 project to expand and modernize the Columbus Park playground and to improve its picnic area.

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