The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District allotted more than $3 million in county funds to pay for a number of I.V. park projects at its weekly meeting last Thursday.

The improvement plans, which would be carried out during the 2007-08 fiscal year if they are approved as a part of the Isla Vista Master Plan, will cost roughly $3.4 million, about $2.9 million of which will be used for upgrades to the Estero Park and Community Gardens community center.

The remainder of the funds granted by the IVRPD board at last week’s meeting will pay for smaller projects benefiting a number of other I.V. parks, including Greek Park, Pardall Gardens, Sue-o Park, Trigo-Pasado Park, Children’s Park, Del Sol Open Space, Camino Corto Open Space, Tierra de Fortuna Park and Kid’sTrail Park. The board said at the meeting that it plans to utilize state as well as county money to fund the projects.

The IVRPD’s plans to the parks are part the I.V. Master Plan proposal, which includes development plans for neighborhood and downtown parks as well as other public areas in the community.

IVRPD board member Diane Conn said the funds granted Thursday were important because continual effort is needed each year to improve and maintain I.V. parks and open space.

“Obviously, we’re not going to be able to do everything in one year,” Conn said.

Proposals about how to use the IVRPD’s grants included a specific plan for Greek Park on Cordoba Road, the details of which became the subject of discussion at the meeting. Officials and community members will be resurfacing the basketball court and replacing the park’s raised wooden deck area, in addition to installing new fencing around the perimeter.

Board vice chairman Ken Warfield said replacing the basketball court at Greek Park will take considerable measures, so it is extremely important to do the job correctly. Primarily, Warfield said the old cement needs to be completely removed, the ground leveled and new cement laid down in order to avoid encountering some of the problems the existing pavement has. Some disagreed with this view, and said trying to fix the structural problems of the current pavement would be sufficient for the improvement.

Disputes between board members also arose concerning the raised wooden deck in Greek Park. Conn said she believes the deck should be removed, as it necessitates constant maintenance. However, board member Kelly Pritchard disagreed with Conn, and said that the deck is used frequently and should not be removed.

“The wooden deck is utilized by the greek community for functions and parties, as well as by children for birthday parties,” Pritchard said.

In addition, the board discussed improving accessibility throughout the Pardall Gardens park, and hopes to include the installation of wheelchair-accessible pathways on its list of upgrades the park will receive. Pardall Gardens will also receive funding for general maintenance, such as fence replacement, landscaping and tree trimming.

Improvement proposals for Sue-o Park include installing a new irrigation system, increasing the park’s accessibility, replacing its fruit trees and the construction of a frisbee screen for visitor use.

Warfield also suggested removing the non-native Eucalyptus trees and children’s play equipment in Children’s Park and replacing them with a gazebo.

“The existing play equipment is old and the kids don’t use them; the play equipment should be taken out,” grounds supervisor Jay Scheideman said at the meeting.

Discussion of improvements to Anisq’ Oyo’ Park, People’s Park and Perfect Park are on the agenda for the April 19 IVRPD meeting.