Friday, April 4, 2008

Metro requests three new community centers for Antioch area

By SUZANNE NORMAND BLACKWOOD | | 259-8268 • April 4, 2008 ANTIOCH — Metro Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite grew up with the positive influence of a community center, where youths could go for activities ranging from dance to sports to painting. Community centers are great for "filling idle minds with positive things, places to go," she said. As the demographics have changed in the Antioch area, both "socially" and "economically," Wilhoite said she has come to recognize more and more that there is "a clear disparity in community centers." This need for such places for youths to find recreational opportunities is what led Wilhoite to request a couple of years ago that two new neighborhood community centers for Antioch be added to the Metro Parks Master Plan. The only neighborhood community center serving the Antioch area is the Antioch Community Center on Blue Hole Road. Metro Councilman Robert Duvall saw the need for a regional community center and requested that one be added to the master plan. As a result of Wilhoite's and Duvall's requests, Metro Parks staff recently recommended to the Metro Parks Board that the three centers be added. "They came and held a series of community meetings and determined we needed a regional (community) center and two (neighborhood) community centers," Duvall said, adding this would be like "a shot in the arm for Antioch." "I couldn't be more pleased," he said. Duvall said he thought the Metro Parks staff, particularly Metro Parks assistant director Curt Garrigan, did a great job at handling the requests. They "paid attention to . . . needs" and "studied the population and the density" of the area, he said. Garrigan said a subcommittee of the Metro Parks Board will review the findings by the Metro Parks staff, and the proposal will come up for a vote at the board's June meeting. The funding cycle it would fall under if approved has yet to be determined. Garrigan said the Metro Parks Master Plan is updated every five years. Since it was time to update it, "we identified that as a possible project," he said.

No comments: