Photo by Heather Middleton
By Joel Hall
F rom now until Sept. 9, members of the public will have an chance to put their personal stamp on the City of Riverdale's new Town Center.
The city is selling commemorative bricks -- 1,200 in all -- that will line what is being called the "Path to Greatness," which will serve as the entrance to the new Riverdale Town Center, located on Church Street, on the site of the former Travon Wilson Memorial Park.
On Oct. 9, the engraved bricks will be unveiled, along with the city's new 1,000-seat outdoor amphitheater, City Hall complex, and Community Center -- all part of the initial phase of the 40,000-square-foot multi-purpose facility.
Riverdale Councilwoman Cynthia Stamps-Jones, chairperson of the city's "Legacy Brick Campaign," said the bricks will allow people to have a "vested stake" in the new development. The four-inch-by-eight-inch bricks will cost $35 each, and purchasers will be able to engrave their names, and various messages, in 54 characters or less, on the brick pavers.
"Before I even became elected as a city official, I wanted citizens, such as myself, to be a part of the new development and a new beginning for Riverdale," Stamps-Jones said. "As we move toward the completion of the first phase [of the Town Center], we wanted to take it a step further. A lot of people are detached from the city," she said.
"My hope is that this is a turning point, so that they feel they are forever a part of this city. Once they put that brick there, no matter what foreign place or country they go [to], they will always have that legacy."
According to Riverdale City Manager Iris Jessie, the grand-opening ceremony for the Riverdale Town Center will take place from 11 a.m., to 4 p.m., during which time people will have a chance to tour the new amphitheater, City Hall and Community Center.
She said any excess revenue from the Legacy Brick Campaign will go toward the Community Center's Entertainment Fund, which will finance seminars, special events, and other activities to take place at the Community Center.
"I believe that this facility will increase the community's pride," Jessie said. "This is the first time that the city has actually had a facility that residents can enjoy within their city limits. We will have structured classes, dance, art, seminars ... community events, special events, weddings, birthday parties.
"That personal stamp will be their brick with a message with their name on it," she continued. "In their own small way, they will be able to leave a legacy. It's one thing to come and participate in the activities, but it's another to be able to leave something behind for many years to come."
For more information about the brick campaign, contact Iris Jessie at (770) 997-8989, or visit Riverdale City Hall, located at 6690 Church St., in Riverdale.