Fieldale Community Center Awarded Grant

June 27, 2007

By AMANDA BUCK - Bulletin Staff Writer

The Harvest Foundation on Tuesday announced a $28,000 operational grant for the Fieldale Community Center.

The grant will be used to make improvements to the center's building on Marshall Way and implement strategic planning designed to strengthen the center and broaden its impact in the community, according to Bill Adkins, president of the center's board of directors, and a press release.

"We're delighted to receive this grant," Adkins said. "Hopefully we can put it to good use so the community will have a better place to meet."

Officials at the center are "eager to identify and initiate new programs and opportunities that add to the overall quality of life of the area's residents, reviving the once vibrant spirit and pride in the little mill town," the release states.

Among improvements being considered are increasing space for and improving the exercise rooms, adding a heating and cooling system to the building (currently it is heated by gas space heaters and has only a couple of window air conditioners, Adkins said), and add umbrellas to create shaded areas at the pool.

The center, which was established in 1937 by Marshall Field and Co., offers activities for seniors, computer access and sports activities for all ages, including swimming lessons, men's basketball and Tee ball.

"We have pretty much people of every age participating in some shape or fashion," Adkins said.

"The Fieldale Community Center is a significant resource to this wonderful community," Harvest Foundation Executive Director Rich Killingsworth said in the release. "It is without hesitation that I say that this center is in many regards the ‘heart' of Fieldale. The grant supported by the Harvest Foundation demonstrates our keen interest to developing organizations like the Fieldale Community Center into strong, vibrant resources to advance the health and quality of life for their community residents."

When improvements are made and programs added, Adkins said he hopes the center will appeal to more residents.

As of a week ago, the center had signed up 176 memberships, Adkins said. But since a family of four could be counted as a single membership, for instance, the total number of members was not available Tuesday.

The center, which was operated as a YMCA until 1952, used to provide gym facilities to schools in the community. After Pillowtex Corp. -  once Fieldcrest Mills — closed in 2003, the county began leasing the community center property from a property liquidation company, according to previous reports.

In April 2005, the center signed an agreement with the county to sublease its property for $1 a year.

"Residents of Fieldale know that there is a need for the center and that the historical landmark is worth saving," Adkins said in the release. "With the Harvest Foundation's aid, we are confident that the center will be able to restore life and give hope to the residents of the Fieldale community."


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