Group seeks funding for sports center

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 25, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – A nonprofit group needs more than $200,000 to build lighted sports fields and a recreational area for small children on a field south of Vidalia Junior High.

Toward that end, the Concord Youth and Adult Association is researching to find any grants available for such projects.

Such funds usually have to be matched by the requesting association.

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But Windell Millicks, president of the association, said he believes that construction being done by association volunteers could be considered an &uot;in kind&uot; match for those grants.

&uot;That’s one thing foundations look at when awarding these grants — whether the community is taking a stake in these projects,&uot;&160;Millicks said.

In all, the association needs $120,000 to construct a soccer and football field and two baseball fields, $60,000 to erect lighting for the complex and $25,000 to construct a recreational area for smaller children.

One thing that will help the group secure grants is the fact that, on Tuesday, the Vidalia Board of Aldermen extended from 25 years to 99 years its lease of a field south of Vidalia Junior High to the association.

The change to a longer-term lease was needed because the organization cannot get funding for the project otherwise. The town is leasing the land for $25 a year. &uot;That (lease extension) will help us out a great deal,&uot;&160;Millicks said.

The association’s volunteers have already built a walking track around the sports field area using recycled asphalt donated by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

Although damp weather has caused delays in the project recently, a pavilion on the west side of the site should be completed by February, Millicks said.