Legislators Announce State Grant for Tioga County Athletic Facility
By: Ed Weaver / December 9, 2014
HARRISBURG – A $1 million state grant has been awarded for the new Wellsboro Community Athletic Complex, according to Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) and Representative Matt Baker (R-68).
The State Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP) awarded $1 million dollars for the project, which will be put toward demolishing the currently deteriorating recreational facility in the Borough of Wellsboro and replacing it with a new state-of-the-art athletic complex.
"This $1 million grant is a very exciting development, which will provide support for the new Wellsboro Community Athletic Complex," Senator Scarnati said. "The funding will help create an outstanding space for students, athletes and local residents to come together. I commend our local education leaders and county commissioners for their collaboration and strong support of this endeavor. I am confident that this complex will help to better serve the needs of our community."
"Due to deterioration taking place the facility presents several safety issues and was recently condemned for use by structural engineers," Representative Baker said. "For at least the last two years a serious effort has been made to raise funds to adequately address this issue. I am most appreciative that Governor Tom Corbett has agreed to our request to release $1 million in RACP funding to help fund this project, which will serve a broad network of students, athletes, residents and community organizations Providing a state grant of $1 million will be such a blessing as well to WASD taxpayers as the Capital Campaign to raise additional funding continues to go forward seeking private donations and contributions that will be needed to complete the overall project."
Legislators explained that the Wellsboro Area School District, Wellsboro Area Education Foundation, Tioga County Commissioners and local foundations have worked together to gain support for the athletic complex.
The project will include construction of a new field with an artificial playing surface, all-weather track, bleachers and lights. In addition to the $1 million state grant, the Education Foundation has raised $1.5 million in funds pledged over a five-year period, including $500,000 from Ward Manufacturing.
"Fifty years of heavy use and deterioration at the stadium, along with changing safety requirements meant that all bleachers had to be dismantled, causing us to lose our 'home field advantage'," Wellsboro School District Superintendent Chris Morral explained. "We are greatly appreciative of this grant which will help the Wellsboro Community Athletic Complex to once again become an important gathering place for students, athletes and local residents."
Kate Eckhart (Senator Scarnati)
Tricia Lehman (Representative Baker)