Rendering of completed Venice Island project

Beginning next week, Manayunk's Venice Island—a strip of land situated between the Manayunk Canal and the Schuylkill River—will undergo a $46 million makeover that includes the construction of an underground storage basin, a new performing arts center, a children's play area and a new parking lot. This project is so big we've created our own blog category for it, as well as a web page with more details and updates as construction progresses. The underground basin will have the capacity to store four million gallons of water in an effort to protect and improve the health of the Schuylkill River. And, as reported in today's NewsWorks article, Venice Island's other new amenities will benefit the site as well:

"For decades, the Venice Island rec center was the site of community programs, summer swimming and nearly year-round athletics. A city photo from 1960 shows a tidy waterfront playground tucked between then-working railroad tracks and the Schuylkill, a lifetime away from the forbidding, overgrown place Venice Island became in recent years.

In its new incarnation, the hockey rink and 3,200 square-foot playground area at Venice Island will be replaced one-for-one. The pool is being scrapped in favor of a spray ground area, and the basketball courts will be enlarged slightly to make them NCAA-regulation sized.

The performing arts center will also serve as a home base for the Parks and Recreation Department's Young Performers Theater Camp, which currently operates out of rented space at the Annenberg Center, [PWD's Joanne] Dahme said.

'This is a tight little island, so we're trying to squeeze as much as we can on here,' she said."

Another rendering of the site after the jump.