New developments underway in McKinley Park neighborhood

Cecily Hastings and Lisa Schmidt, cofounders of the Friends of East Sacramento, want to make weddings the primary source of income for the Clunie Center. / Photo by Adam Stark

Cecily Hastings and Lisa Schmidt, cofounders of the Friends of East Sacramento, want to make weddings the primary source of income for the Clunie Center. / Photo by Adam Stark

From renovating the Clunie Center, to rebuilding the playground, beautifying the rose garden and expanding the Greek Orthodox Church, McKinley will be a neighborhood “designed by the community and presented by the community,” in the words of Councilman Steve Cohn at a recent McKinley East Sacramento Neighborhood Association meeting.

Councilman Cohn made the above statement in regards to the efforts to rebuild McKinley Playground, in which he stated that more than $600,000 has been approved for reconstruction, and assured the community that all funds were gathered either from insurance claims or excess city money.

Cohn said the new playground will look like the old one, however, several changes will be made. There is intent to use a synthetic wood material as opposed to the real thing, and foam floors will likely replace the woodchips currently in use.

Across the park, the rose garden and Clunie Center will also see vast improvements.

Cecily Hastings and Lisa Schmidt, cofounders of the Friends of East Sacramento, are spearheading efforts to gather volunteers for maintenance of the gardens, namely general upkeep or the removal of dead flowers. So far, funds have been raised for the first year of upkeep, but $30,000 is still needed to complete the project.

Hastings and Schmidt want to make weddings the primary source of income for the Center, so they are working on a marketing package for local restaurants before advertising to the community. Their plan is to have East Sac restaurants cater weddings.

McKinley Park itself will not be the only part of the McKinley neighborhood to be renovated. The Greek Orthodox Church and Sutter Memorial have remodel plans in the works.

Architect Dan Eriksson and building chairman George Koufasimis explained plans for the renovation and expansion of the Greek Orthodox Church, located at the corner of Alhambra and F Street. The expansions will include a large hall, an education center, and a new courtyard.

The project will include demolishing most of the structures on the block (but not the existing church) and merging the entire block except for the physical therapists’ office on the corner of Alhambra Boulevard and G Street. According to the church’s master plan, the current church building would ultimately be demolished and replaced with a new one. But that’s a long ways off, maybe a decade or so.  The new hall will house a variety of events, as well as adapting and building on existing architecture.

Representatives of StoneBridge Properties LLC were also at the meeting to announce upcoming renovations to Sutter Memorial Hospital, which will help the building blend in with the surrounding neighborhood.

jcooper@valcomnews.com

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