October 23, 2021

Playground takes shape

Work on Suggett Park project now underway

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Cortland Youth Bureau’s Harold Pallone, left, and site supervisor Robert Pettinelli, right, of Vermont-based Pettinelli & Associates playground installers assemble a playground at Suggett Park in Cortland on Thursday.

Remember: Work before play. The work starts this week at Suggett Park. The play comes as soon as the new playground is completed.

John McNerney, director of the Cortland Youth Bureau, said Wednesday construction on the new Suggett Park playground started Tuesday. “Supplies were delivered 10 days ago,” he said.

At the end of April and beginning of May former playground equipment was removed, trees were trimmed and the ground was leveled.

The work is part of $500,000 in city playground renovations that will eventually lead to the installation of Cortland County’s first inclusive park, where people with disabilities can use the equipment.

McNerney doesn’t know how long the construction and assembly will last. “I don’t have a timeline,” he said.

However, there are plans to announce the parks opening at a later date.

Along with the old playground equipment, the old wading pool and its surrounding fence at Suggett Park has been removed to make room for a 3,500-square-foot splash pad equipped with 15 spraying features.

Once rebuilt, Suggett Park on Madison and Hamlin streets and Homer Avenue will be the only all-inclusive park in the county. The closest park now is around 40 miles away at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool.

Some of the new equipment includes a glider that accommodates wheelchairs, a whirl — a ground-like merrygo- round — new swings and a sound panel including drums, piano and other features. Poured rubber, expected to last around 20 to 25 years, will cover the ground.

The Youth Bureau has been working with Missouri-based Miracle Recreation, a company that specializes in playground equipment, to design the new playgrounds.

Work at Beaudry Park on Scammell Street is also scheduled for later this summer.

Two playground structures were added last year to Dexter Park on Elm Street — which included new swings, benches, resurfacing of basketball and tennis courts and new fencing.