Grand Junction leaders are off to an encouraging start with fund-raising for a planned $350,000 community center in the downtown.
Peoples Trust & Savings Bank just announced a $25,000 lead gift for the 6,000 square foot center. Another $40,000 has been raised to this point as well.
"It will be the place everybody comes," said Diane Wise, a member of the community center committee.
The city of Grand Junction is removing six blighted buildings, including the current community center, to clear space for the new facility, one that will include a large meeting room with a 250 person capacity; small meeting room with 75 person capacity; patio, men's and ladies' restrooms; city offices and a free room for coffee groups and other small gatherings.
"I think it will improve everybody's spirits," Wise said.
The city will maintain ownership of the community center.
Larry Pote, market president for Peoples Trust & Savings in Grand Junction, said the project is part of a broader effort to rehabilitate downtown buildings in the city of 800 people. "The council is definitely behind it," said Pote, a member of the council.
Organizers hope to see construction start in the fall of 2014.
The presences of the new center will help attract new residents and keep many activities, such as family celebrations, in Grand Junction, helping to spark more housing and business development, organizers say.
"It would be nice to have a place when kids graduate," said Joan Dearborn, a member of the community center committee.
Advocates will be pursuing a number of grant applications and funding sources. They are asking for local private donations as well. Contributions can be sent to: Grand Junction Community Center, PO Box 383, Grand Junction, IA 50107. For more information call 515-370-1675. -The Jefferson Herald....