Grant awarded for new Lemay community center

The St. Louis County Economic Council has been awarded a $475,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the planning and design of a new community center in Lemay.

U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo., secured the funds as part of HUD’s Economic Development Initiative awards program in the 2009 omnibus appropriations bill.

“We are extremely grateful for Sen. Kit Bond’s continued support,” County Executive Charlie A. Dooley stated in a news release. “The Lemay and south county communities are looking forward to having a place where they can gather for recreation and social activities. What’s more, the community center will create much-needed jobs and spur on other economic activity in the surrounding area.”

The new 30,000-square-foot, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-certified facility will incorporate various programming elements including a gymnasium, fitness space, multipurpose rooms, and indoor track. An outdoor aquatic area also is part of the plans.

The recommended location of the community center will be at the intersection of South Broadway and Kingston Drive at the northern end of Jefferson Barracks Park.

“U.S. Sen. Kit Bond has been a huge proponent in providing funds to jump start economic development and job creation in our area,” St. Louis County Economic Council President and CEO Denny Coleman stated in the release. “We are thankful for all he has helped us accomplish in St. Louis County and beyond.”

Pinnacle Entertainment, developer of the River City Entertainment Complex in Lemay, is providing additional funding for the community center through its contractual agreement with the St. Louis County Port Authority and St. Louis County.

“The Lemay community, Chamber of Commerce and Lemay Development Corp. are so appreciative of the support we’re receiving from our government officials and the Economic Council. The grant money will be instrumental in furthering the design and pre-construction costs of this important facility,” stated Dan Berra, president of the Lemay Chamber of Commerce and vice president of Lemay Development Corp. This center will provide a full range of affordable services from after-school programs to family activities to daytime programs for our seniors.”