Council Message: It’s Time for a Celebration!

thumb-council-message-may-2024By Councilmember Tish Buroker

It’s time for a celebration! Final improvements have been completed to the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center, and the adjoining plaza. The community center is located at 12830 S Redwood Road, just west of the historic school building which houses Riverton City Hall.

This two-story brick building was built in 1930. It was originally a gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, and additional classrooms. The original auditorium remains much as it was when it was built. The space has always been in continual use. It has hosted sporting events, movies, school programs, town meetings, club meetings, funerals, receptions, spook-alleys, school fairs, family parties, and the Riverton Arts Council in its 94-year-old history. It truly is a community center.

The old school playground behind City Hall was home to school field days, a massive slide, and other playground equipment. Most recently, it has been a parking lot for city employees. It was full of potholes, broken pavement, and was collapsing in spots.

I recently toured this site with one of my brothers, and we both remembered exactly where we were standing at recess when we heard the news that President Kennedy had been killed.

Former Mayor Sandra Lloyd was instrumental in ensuring the school and community center were retained by the city when a new elementary school was built in 1994. As former Mayor Lloyd stated, “There is a sense of community that comes when entering a historic building. A sense of awe as we feel the spirit of the old. These feelings connect us to our past, thus giving us a sense of our identity. This in turn strengthens our future.”

Recently, money was set aside by the City Council to update the Sandra Lloyd Community Center, and to remedy the longstanding concerns with the parking lot on the west side of City Hall. The goal was to transform this area into something special that could continue to be relevant, while respecting its 94-year history.

Tiger-and-CubNow, the work is complete. The outside plaza and the Sandra Lloyd Community Center are multi-purpose spaces for showcasing the arts, the history of Riverton, and providing space for recitals, family gatherings, and business meetings. We even have our first piece of sculpture through the generous donation of the Shelledy family, a large, bronze tiger mother and cub, honoring Dollores Shelledy, a local, respected artist.

To celebrate and showcase these improvements, there will be a grand opening on May 13, at 6:30 p.m., followed by an open house of the Sandra N. Lloyd Community Center and outside plaza.

It is the hope of your Council that this building and plaza will continue to be a place of community. Rates for renting space have purposely been kept low so that residents can enjoy this space without extreme costs.

The mayor’s article shares how these improvements were paid for without a bond or increase in taxes. As always, the mayor and all the City Council are committed to ensuring the best possible use of tax dollars while ensuring the highest quality of life.

Much of the information for this article comes from Langford Lloyd and the History of Riverton, written by Scott Crump and Mel Bashore. I would like to personally thank them for making Riverton history accessible through their many hours of volunteer service.

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