Fieldale Recreation Heart will get $1 million for renovations

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The Fieldale Heritage Revitalization Project was awarded a $1 million Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) by Virginia on Wednesday.

The ongoing project to bring the Fieldale Recreation Center back to life has been funded in the past by the Appalachian Regional Funding Commission and the Harvest Foundation, but in March the Henry County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution allowing a May 1 application to be filed million US dollars will be used to fund the project, which is expected to cost US$ 1.5 million.

“Community Development Block Grants continue to be an invaluable resource for Virginia communities, providing targeted support to community-identified needs and encouraging support for our most vulnerable Virginians,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a press release. “These grants allow us to make important investments in infrastructure, housing rehabilitation and economic development that will build stronger communities for all across the Commonwealth.”

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The grant to Fieldale was part of Youngkin’s announced $11.5 million in grants that will fund 10 projects statewide.

The Fieldale Heritage Revitalization Project is described in the honoree list as a means to “rehabilitate a disused historic building in Henry County into a community center serving an area where 58% of residents are classified as low- to middle-income. The not-for-profit facility will offer programs and services to help families through outdoor recreation, swimming lessons, fitness facilities, senior citizen programs and Internet access, and will be the only such facility in Henry County.”

The federally funded CDBG program has been administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development since 1982 and receives approximately $19 million annually for distribution to small towns, counties, and communities. Most CDBG grants are awarded through a competitive process, the press release said.

“While each of the 10 honored projects support very different community goals, they all foster strong local partnerships and will help build a stronger Virginia economy,” Secretary of Commerce Caren Merrick said in the release. “The CDBG program provides the flexibility needed to meet the unique needs of the community while working towards a stronger, more cohesive Commonwealth.”

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-591-7543. Follow him @billdwyatt.