Community Center Getting Much Needed New Playground

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The center’s iconic “bridge between the trees” structure, which will be renovated as a part of the new playground.

The Coddington Road Community Center is finally getting the new playground that they have been waiting for thanks to a collaboration with the Habitat for Humanity club at Ithaca College.

“It’s been on the project list for a while,” said Heather Mount, Executive Director of the center. “There’s not much going on right now out there. We’ve never had a permanent playground for the kids to play on.”

The new playground will provide a great place to play and have fun for the 250 children who are members of the center, said Mount, as well as the general public, to which the playground will be open.

The new playground will be completed in two phases. The first phase, which was put into place on April 24, involved installing smaller play structures, such as a small rock-climbing wall and balance beam.

The second phase will be finished sometime in May, before the end of the spring semester at Ithaca College, and will be focused on building and installing a large play house with slides, as well as restoring the center’s iconic “bridge between the trees” structure.

This project is a departure from the norm for the Habitat for Humanity club, which usually focuses on affordable housing, and whose projects are usually outside of the Ithaca area.

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The current play area at the center lacks a large permanent play structure.

“It’s nice to go right down the road and contribute something,” said Brendan Davis, the president of Ithaca College’s Habitat for Humanity club.

According to Davis, a member of the club who had volunteered at the center came up with the idea to help them build a new playground, and the center jumped at the idea.

“It’s great, they’re really excited to help us out,” Mount said about working with the club members. “It’s been a lot more work than they thought, but they’ve rolled with it and have been flexible.”

Davis also added that the center has been very accommodating to the busy schedules of college students, and that the effort to build the playground has “been a true collaboration.”

A new playground has been on the minds of people at the center for a long time, but they have been unable to put a plan into action due to various funding issues. Mount said that the center had raised the necessary money to build a new playground fifteen years ago, but then the septic system at the center broke, so all that money had to go to installing a new system.

This time around, the funding has come from a GoFundMe campaign that is currently about $6,000 short of its goal, as well as a $5,000 donation from the Habitat for Humanity club. This shortage has caused some delays in the project, but they still have been able to get something done.

The delays have caused the volunteers to have some difficulty finding time in their busy schedules to work on the project. Davis said that he wishes that they had more time, but both the club and the center have done a good job being flexible with what time they do have.

“I’m excited to see what we’re going to be able to accomplish,” said Davis.

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