Rotary helps improve blighted areas

Local News

Members of Sunrise Rotary roll paint on plywood sheets to be used for board-up of buildings in Galesburg. From left, Rotarians are Ed Niehus, Chuck Schulz, Jeremy Kleine, Jeff Douglas, and Wendel Hunigan. Not pictured is Josh Rickabaugh. (contributed photo.)

Members of Galesburg Sunrise Rotary Club have initiated a project to improve and alleviate blighted conditions.

Working with the city’s Community Development Department and 1-800 Board-Up, Rotarians are painting plywood to be used for local board-ups to enhance the aesthetics of vacant, run-down, or fire-damaged properties in Galesburg, a news release says. 

The club recently painted 20 plywood sheets that were later cut and mounted at the Hawthorne Centre on Windish Drive by the city’s board-up contractor, Werner Restoration.

The group is using the former Ferris Moving and Storage building, which is currently owned by the City of Galesburg, at 465 Mulberry St. to do the painting. Mis-tinted paint is purchased at a discount from local stores for the project.

“Projects like this one display the commitment of Rotarians to our community,” said Sunrise Rotary President Chris Hroziencik. “It is great to see such an investment into this wonderful group effort.”

 The Galesburg on Track initiative is aligned with the Community Heart & Soul value of a positive town image, the release says   The city has many structures that have required board-up in recent years and the look and service life of unpainted plywood and oriented strand board quickly becomes a blight in city neighborhoods. Additionally, the use of volunteers to do these projects builds a sense of community and can-do spirit among the people that call Galesburg home.

“We appreciate the time, effort and coordination of all entities involved in this community beautification project,” said Community Development Director Steve Gugliotta. “Painting the plywood a color that blends into the building not only makes it more aesthetically pleasing for the neighborhood, but it will not broadcast that the building is vacant and/or abandoned.”

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