WAYNESBURG – EQT REC Center at EverGreene Technology Park in Franklin Township is now under roof and on track to be completed in early fall.
“We’re right on schedule,” said David Jones, executive director of Greene County Memorial Hospital Foundation, which is building the 60,000 square foot community recreation center.
Construction of the building proceeded to a point, Jones said, “you can definitely see its size and scope.”
The $8 million building is being constructed by the foundation, a nonprofit organization, on 13.3 acres in the business park behind the county airport.
It will include a 24,300 square-foot indoor soccer field, a regulation basketball court, a fitness center, walking and jogging track, and multipurpose rooms for meetings, events and exercise and educational classes.
“It will be a community hub for recreation, education and community,” Jones said, referring to the “REC” in the building’s name which stands for those three words. “We believe it will be a gathering place, a place that will be busy throughout the day.”
Construction of the center was the foundation board’s idea to create something lasting for the entire county, Jones said. A study completed several years ago pointed to the need for a community recreation center in the county.
The concept also aligns with the foundation’s purpose, which is to fund programs to improve the health and well-being of county residents.
Formed in 2005 with the proceeds of the sale of the former Greene County Memorial Hospital, the foundation has provided grants to fund, for example, local youth summer camps and scholarships to students in health-related fields.
The foundation is building the new recreation center with its own funds and with money raised through sponsorships and donations. The center is named after EQT Corp., the project’s naming sponsor.
The foundation, so far, raised close to $2 million, the goal it set for the initial fundraising campaign, through naming rights and sponsorships. A few sponsorship opportunities for contributions of $2,500 or more are still available, Jones said.
The foundation also recently began the second phase of its fundraising campaign that includes the sale of engraved bricks that will be placed near the front entrance of the building.
Each brick is $250 and can hold up to three lines of engraving with 18 characters per line.
“We’re hoping this will allow individuals who want to support the center to take part in it,” Jones said.
The foundation will be selling bricks for the initial order until about mid-June, Jones said. It will continue to sell bricks for subsequent orders, he said.
The project has been in the works for several years and was first announced about three and half years ago. Jones said the foundation board is pleased with its progress.
“It’s been a long process and the board is extremely excited to see it coming to fruition in the very near future,” he said.
Anyone who would like to purchase a brick or make a contribution to the project can call Jones at 724-852-2060.