Garner Cleveland Record

Garner receives $217,000 in grant for recreation center

A rendering of a side of the future recreation center.
A rendering of a side of the future recreation center. courtesy of the Town of Garner

The Town of Garner received a grant worth more than $217,000 that will soon go toward the costs for the new Recreation Center.

The town re-applied for the grant in 2014 from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund or PARTF, seeking more money than the organization could give previously.

PARTF provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to local governments for parks and recreational projects to serve the public.

The town initially applied for the grant in 2013 and were selected. However, the PARTF program could only distribute about $35,000.

“Last year when you think about having the option of only getting $30,000 and waiting a year and coming back and getting more than $200,000, it was a huge success,” Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw said.

The town was one of 67 applicants requesting a little more than $12.6 million in funding, with only $4.9 million available for distribution during the 2014-15 grant cycle.

“The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department worked diligently with the public, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, programming partners and Town staff to demonstrate strong public support for the project,” Rodney Dickerson, assistant town manager, said in a press release.

“We are proud to be recipients of this grant.”

The new recreation center will be located on the corner of Main and Montague streets in downtown Garner.

The $217,500 grant will be in addition to the $2.5 million donation from ConAgra. The rest will be paid for with bond money voters approved in 2013 and reserve funds set aside by the town.

The recreation center will be 40,000 square feet, have three-high-school size gymnasiums, three multipurpose rooms and an indoor walking track. Construction is expected to begin next spring and be completed in the fall of 2017.

“This will certainly allow for a small cushion for any unexpected costs,” Shaw said. “We definitely needed the funding and every dollar amount helps.”

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @GarnerCleveland