Councilmember Huizar negotiated with university to abandon plans to build a street through Hazard Park and commit to more than $1 million in park improvements as part of their plan to expand the USC Health Sciences Medical Campus in Boyle Heights
In celebration of a major victory for Ramona Gardens and the Hazard Park community negotiated by Councilmember José Huizar, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles Recreation and Parks, the Hazard Park Preservation Committee and the L.A. Parks Foundation will joined Councilmember Huizar on Saturday for a $1 million check presentation from the University to the community.
As part of the expansion of their Health Sciences Medical Campus, USC sought to build a street through the park to connect their campus to Soto Street east of the park. After hearing from the community and Councilmember Huizar, USC abandoned those plans and will build the street on adjacent land they own just north of the park – that land is valued at $1.5 million.
The check presentation comes after Councilmember Huizar, with wide community support from the Hazard Park Preservation Committee and others, negotiated with USC in late 2013 to further donate $1.1 million to provide Hazard Park upgrades setting the stage for work to begin on a new jogging path, a new toddler playground and other improvements. Part of USC’s donation includes $100,000 to support youth sports programming at Hazard Park, with another $100,000 to be used for traffic mitigation later if necessary.
The agreement also includes securing additional parking for park visitors at a proposed USC parking lot, which is being built as USC seeks to expand its Health Sciences Medical Campus.
The upgrades are the latest for the park. In July, Huizar joined MTV star and skateboarder Rob Dyrdek as they opened a new skate plaza at Hazard Park.