Local foundation living up to its goals

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What a grand idea by Greene County Memorial Hospital Foundation to build a public recreation center for Greene County residents.

Last week, the Franklin Township Zoning Hearing Board approved plans by the foundation to build a facility large enough to contain an indoor soccer field, basketball courts, fitness center and multipurpose rooms. It will be a 45,000- to 51,800-square-foot building on 7.6 acres of vacant land on Oakview Drive, across the street from the Waynesburg Lions Club’s baseball field.

The proposal came before the zoning hearing board because the area is zoned R-1 residential. Under the township zoning ordinance, a recreation center is a special exception requiring board approval.

David Jones, foundation executive director, said about a year ago,l the foundation board began to ask itself what it could do to have a “bigger impact” in the community in line with its mission. The board began developing the idea of the recreation center. “There’s not a facility like this in all of Greene County,” he said.

We applaud the foundation’s foresight, recognizing such a facility is needed in the county. We also are impressed with the foundation’s commitment to fund the estimated $1 million project with its own money, and then begin a capital campaign to raise additional money for the project.

The county’s five school districts have gymnasiums and weight rooms, etc., but we would guess those are used primarily by the students of the respective districts.

The public at large is more or less shut out from having a place to go to participate in athletic activities.

The Wellness Center at Southwest Regional Medical Center is operated by the foundation, and plans are to move that equipment to the new recreation center, freeing up valuable space for the hospital.

But perhaps most impressive about the plan is that the foundation is following its mission statement and its goals to the letter.

The purpose of the foundation is “To provide the community compassionate and caring outreach programs with an emphasis toward health care,” while its goals are to:

• Provide resources for programs that target health-care initiatives and have measurable results;

• Improve access to medical facilities and programs in order to enhance the delivery of medical services when needed;

• Partner with community organizations to maximize efficiency of existing programs;

• Seek out and identify areas that are underserved to create new programs;

• Recognize and encourage leaders who are working to increase health and wellness within our community.

The center will be multipurpose and have features that can be used by all ages. And it won’t just be for student-athletes.

Its multipurpose rooms can be used for aerobics and educational program on subjects such as diabetes and nutrition, and an indoor walking or jogging track will be available for those who don’t like using treadmills.

Too often we hear people bemoan the fact there is nothing to do in Greene County, no place to go to have fun. Well, if all goes according to plan, and the recreation center becomes a reality, we should no longer be hearing those complaints.

The foundation has strong leadership, and we would expect it to comply with all township ordinances and requirements regarding this project.

So, we say congratulations to the foundation for fulfilling its mission. Greene County residents will be well served by having this addition to its community, and we would expect full support to make sure the center comes to fruition.

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