Ribbon cutting opens new building at Geneseo Park District athletic field

Claudia Loucks
A ribbon cutting was held on Oct. 5 to officially open the Geneseo Park District’s new building at the Park District’s Athletic Field on East North St. In the photo at the ceremony are, from left, Brett Lohman, representing the Geneseo Foundation; Gibson Minard, ready for youth football; James Winkleman, guest at the ribbon cutting; Andy Thurman, executive director at the Geneseo Park District; Zack Sullivan, executive director of the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce; and Brad Toone, Geneseo Youth Football board member.

A project to benefit the entire community is now complete. A ribbon cutting was held on Oct. 5 to officially open the Park District’s new Sideline Room and Geneseo Youth Football Storage Room, all in one building at the Geneseo Park District Athletic Field.

The Park District partnered with Geneseo Youth Football in raising funds for the construction of the new building.

According to Andy Thurman, executive director of the Geneseo Park District, the new structure replaces the existing building near the football field. The former building has been demolished.

Cost of the project is estimated at $357,000 with the work done by Valley Construction, Rock Island, with help from the community.

”This is a fantastic community collaboration project and we are excited for the updated space,” Thurman said. “It is an asset to the entire community.”

All donations will be directed to the Geneseo Park District Foundation and donations of $500 or more are eligible for recognition on the Geneseo Park District Foundation Donor Wall located in the main hallway of the Community Center. Contributions can be mailed to the Community Center at 541 East North St., Geneseo, IL 61254 or can be made online at www.geneseoparkdistrict.org/foundation.

The Geneseo Foundation provided a matching grant in the amount of $100,000.

Thurman said, “One of the best characteristics about the Geneseo Community is how different organizations and groups come together to support a common goal. Thanks to the partnership between Geneseo Youth Football, the Geneseo Foundation, the Geneseo Park District Foundation and generous community donors it was possible to raise funds to remove the old structure and build the new building with dedicated space for the Geneseo Park District and Geneseo Youth Football.”

The new building, a 42 x 70 ft. structure, is designed with a wall down the middle, dividing the space – one side for Youth Football storage and the other side for the Park District. The space will include an area for Youth Football concessions and equipment storage. Youth football games and eighth grade football games are planned at the Athletic Field location.

There also is space in the building to house Park District Day Camp and Thurman said, “The building is available for the public to rent to for social events such as graduation parties and family get-togethers, and we have updated pickle ball courts, a tennis court and a sand volleyball court.”

He commented that the Athletic Field is home to flag football, SNAG Golf and Hammond-Henry Hospital Free 2 Play for youth, in addition to numerous free Park District Foundation events including drive-in movies, Easter Egg Hunt, and the Turkey Trot.