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Carvalho Park to re-open Thursday (April 12)

MEDIA RELEASE

Mayor Billy Kenoi will join other dignitaries in welcoming the public back to an improved and expanded Gilbert Carvalho Park during a ceremony set for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 12.

The Hilo facility has undergone upgrades costing approximately $890,000 since it was closed for renovation Sept. 12, 2011. Improvements include remodeling the gymnasium restrooms, new paved walking paths that meet federal accessibility mandates, and installation of new bleachers.

Also, County personnel recently completed a nearly acre-size parking area next to the park’s ball field. This area will improve public safety by reducing on-street parking along the shoulder and grassy median of Waiānuenue Avenue. Emergency vehicles pass these areas en route to nearby Hilo Medical Center.

Accompanying Mayor Kenoi at the reopening ceremony will be Hilo Councilman Donald Ikeda, along with Ruby Carvalho, widow of Gilbert Carvalho, and other ohana. Mrs. Carvalho will be presented with a copy of the Hawai‘i County resolution naming the park after her late husband.

A certificate commemorating the Hawai‘i Island Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and acknowledging its efforts to perpetuate Portuguese culture will be presented to Margo Aguiar, widow of Dennis D. Aguiar. The annual Dennis G. Aguiar Portuguese Day in the Park is set for Sunday, April 15.

“The Department of Parks and Recreation wishes to thank the public for remaining patient while these upgrades were being performed. Also vital to the project’s success were Councilman Ikeda, his staff, and the county Department of Environmental Management, Department of Public Works and the Planning Department.” Parks Director Bob Fitzgerald said. “Carvalho Park is now bigger, safer and more accessible than ever.”

Gilbert Carvalho Park features a lighted baseball field, gymnasium, pavilions and keiki playground. It attracts numerous users, including youth, adult and kupuna sports teams. The park serves as the site for softball tournaments and parties, and is home to the popular Portuguese Day in the Park Festival.

For more information, please contact Jason Armstrong, Public Information Officer, at 345-9105, or jarmstrong@co.hawaii.hi.us

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