By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – Community groups came together when the Sidney Alumni Association and Sidney United Way presented the Sidney Center Improvement Group with $10,000 last Saturday.
The money, some generated through SAA fundraising efforts and some grant-funded, will benefit Phase I and II of much-needed improvements at the Sidney Center Playground, SCIG president Michael Sellitti said. The park has been largely inoperable and inaccessible since suffering storm- and flood-related damage.
“This will definitely help us move forward with restoring what’s there and installing new features,” Sellitti said, noting that new features will include stone benches, playground equipment, a community pavilion and walking trails. The group also plans to earmark funding for repairs to existing swings and a basketball court, he said.
Such a significant monetary contribution, Sellitti said, helps SCIG meet its mission.
“Our focus is on providing free community events, beautification and improvement and water quality,” Sellitti said. “We’ve been working toward this for 10 years and the park is something the community expressed wanting to see improved. We’re fortunate to have really good partnerships with the Sidney Alumni Association and United Way.”
Sellitti said he expects work on Phase I and II to take place primarily through 2019, with Phase III, which includes construction and installation of a footbridge, slated for 2020.
SCIG, Sellitti noted, includes roughly 20 members.
Sidney Alumni Association President Doug Sheldon said, beyond prompting nostalgia among many of the group’s roughly 1,000 members, the playground project reinforces SAA’s focus.