A two-year project to renovate Tivoli Memorial Park is nearly finished, so nearly finished, in fact, that a grand opening ceremony will take place sometime next month, complete with hot dogs, hamburgers, music and giveaways.
The park in the center of the village had long been in disrepair, and a $100,000 Community Development Block Grant awarded by Dutchess County in 2011 was exactly what the village needed, said Mayor Bryan Cranna.
“For many years, the park has really been neglected,” he added.
The renovations are comprehensive. The bathrooms have been refurbished with new sinks, new paint, and running water. The pavilion has a reinforced roof and resurfaced floor. The basketball court was resurfaced. The baseball field has a new fence, a refurbished dugout, and an improved field. Drains were installed to help with standing water issues in the area. And there is a new water fountain.
“It really has been a pleasure,” said Trustee Robin Bruno of the renovation process.
“There have been a lot of hoops we’ve had to jump through,” Cranna said, noting there were grant requirements that demanded revisions early in the design phase, which set the projects back six to nine months.
But even this, to Cranna, was for the best: county guidelines required the village to make the park entirely handicap-accessible. Handicap parking, pathways, and even a handicap swing are in the works.
Morris Associates has been the primary engineer behind the project, but has not been the only working force. A group of local teenagers volunteered to paint the bathrooms. Members from the Germantown softball league are working to fix the fence. Two Boy Scouts are also involved; one is building a bench. The American Legion and Masonic Lodge are helping out as well.
“It’s beautiful to have people involved,” Bruno said. “Volunteers are always welcome: there’s always something else to do.”
Cranna said that the park’s improvement is vital for fostering an engaged community. This summer, the Tivoli Free Library will use the park for events, and a summer camp for children will also be held there.
The Tivoli Summer Recreational Program, which Cranna restarted as mayor, will benefit from the park as well. In addition, Bruno said, the park will be available for private and public events, and is open to all community members.
“What family on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon wouldn’t want to come grab a coffee and let the kids run around on the playground?” she said.