Bob Patterson sees the Sewickey Community Center opening up their space to accommodate more local programs once upgrades to the indoor gymnasium are complete.
It will be sooner rather than later, thanks to a $13,000 boost from the Sewickley Valley Community Fund. The matching grant will help pay for half the cost of a new wood gymnasium floor.
“They were gracious to give us $13,000," said Patterson, board member at the community center. "We’re very thankful for that.”
The Sewickley Community Center qualified for the grant after raising more than enough matching funds through a combination of donations, grants and fundraisers that included a raffle for Pittsburgh Steelers tickets. In December, the SVCF presented the check, which Patterson accepted on behalf of the center.
Patterson said the center was constructed in the 1920s, and is solid, but could still use gym and locker room renovations, not to mention roof repairs and kitchen upgrades.
“Unfortunately, there are a lot of renovations that need to be done,” he said.
William Logsdon, SVCF board president, said the board "unanimously and enthusiastically” approved the grant after meeting twice with Patterson to discuss plans for the center.
“Bob (Patterson) presented a compelling account of what the SCC is doing--in so many ways --to improve communities in the Sewickley Valley region,” Logsdon wrote in a letter announcing the award.
The gym walls were painted over the holiday break. Plans are to begin installing the new floor in March or early April at the latest, once the wrestling season is over.
Once the floor is complete, Patterson envisions the space being used by clubs, organizations and team practices, such as youth basketball practices, rock band camp or day care services.
“We’re trying to address the needs of families who can't get those needs met in other places,” Patterson said.
The gym has served many purposes in the past, from sports practices to roundtable discussions at the annual Juneteenth Celebration.
The Quaker Valley youth wrestling program currently uses the gym for practices, which has proven to be beneficial for both the program and the center. Forty children ages 5 to 12 have signed up for the wrestling program, which touches about 35 families. The nine coaches also donated $7,000 worth of mats to the center.
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