Thanks to the generosity of our community, the Sewanee Civic Association has raised the full cost of the Elliott Park playground equipment, as of Oct. 1. More than $56,700 has been donated or pledged for the project.
University Provost John Swallow and Sewanee Civic Association (SCA) president Kiki Beavers met on Sept. 30 and signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the Elliott Park Playground Project.
Recognizing the need for renovation of the Elliott Park playground, the SCA identified the project as a community priority and the University of the South offered to be a partner and help with site preparation and construction.
“This is an important partnership between the SCA and the University of the South to benefi t the community,” said Beavers.
She added, “This is a reminder Sewanee is a place where families live and are valued.”
Major funders include the South Cumberland Community Fund, the Sewanee Community Council Funding Project, the Kaj Krogstad Memorial Fund, the Joel and Trudy Cunningham Charitable Fund, the Monteagle Sewanee Rotary and donations through a designated fund with the Sewanee Community Chest. Community families also had a lemonade stand and bake sale fund-raiser for the project in late August that raised $1,670.
Located on University Avenue in the center of campus near All Saints’ Chapel and the University Book and Supply Store, the new Elliott Park playground will include a balance beam, bridge, climbing structures, swing sets, spinning elements and a musical component. The park will be accessible for all children and will incorporate local and natural materials.
In addition to securing funding for the purchase of the equipment and installation, SCA will be the point of contact for complaints; secure and maintain safety certificates with GameTime, the playground equipment manufacturer; and under GameTime’s supervision, oversee the community-build portion of the installation.
Under the agreement, the University is responsible for site preparation and drainage; accessibility and improving parking facilities; and the cost of moving and or replacing the playground equipment if the site is needed for other purposes.
Site preparation began in September. Organizers hope that the playground will be delivered later this month. There will be time during this process for community participation in the playground’s installation.