GARDEN GROVE : School District, City Deal May Bring Park

Children living in an apartment complex long plagued by gangs and crime may soon have a playground and other recreational facilities under a joint project between the city and the Garden Grove Unified School District.

The City Council today will consider allocating $40,000 to convert part of Peters Elementary School into a playground and a soccer field to benefit children in the Stuart Drive neighborhood.

About 2,000 predominantly Latino residents live in the congested neighborhood near New-hope Street and Garden Grove Boulevard, where children play mostly on the streets because of the lack of play areas.

The Police Department operates a substation in one of the apartments, and two police officers are assigned full time to help residents cope with gang and drug problems.

Under the proposal, the city will buy playground equipment, install soccer goals and improve the irrigating system. The school district will provide the grounds and maintain them. The facility will be open to the public, officials said.

Assistant City Manager Mike Fenderson said that money for the project will come from the city's 1994-95 Community Development Block grants.

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