(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

If the Olympics put you in the mood for serving and spiking, here’s some good news: The Henry M. Jackson Playground is getting a volleyball area. It’s just one of many perks coming to two Lower East Side playgrounds as part of a city initiative to modernize ailing parks.

Under the program, $1.9 million has been allocated to the Henry M. Jackson Playground for renovations. In addition to the volleyball court, the new space will also feature a basketball court, benches and picnic tables, as well as a mini-running track.

(Photo: Courtesy of the NYC Parks Department)

(Photo: Courtesy of the NYC Parks Department)

Some $3.6 million has been allocated to renovate the Sol Lain Playground, which is projected to include a basketball court, swings, and a spray shower, as well as a community garden where children from the adjacent P.S. 134 can plant small vegetables and fruits.

(Photo: Courtesy of the NYC Parks Department)

(Photo: Courtesy of the NYC Parks Department)

The Community Parks Initiative was launched back in 2014, and was designed to revive smaller, neglected play areas. With a budget of $285 million (after it was doubled last fall), the city hopes to renew more than 60 parks citywide. In December 2014, the Parks Department invited community members to attend a brainstorming session that, according to City Council member Rosie Mendez, “enabled local residents to participate in and specify what renovations they wanted in their local playground.”

At a groundbreaking ceremony last week, Assemblymember Alice Cancel said the repair and modernization of the two Lower East Side playgrounds was “welcomed, though overdue.”

Assemblymember Alice Cancel (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

Assemblymember Alice Cancel (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

Construction of the playgrounds won’t be completed until fall of 2017. But Daniel Kim, the principal of P.S. 134, sees that timeline as a learning opportunity. “We’ll be able to help [the children] experience and watch with patience as they see a brand new park emerging,” he said. “It will be hard telling students that they won’t have a playground for a while,” he continued, but sometimes “good things are worth waiting for.”

Principal Daniel Kim (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

Principal Daniel Kim (Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)