Sharon, Hermitage receive grants for youth recreation, handicapp - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Sharon, Hermitage receive grants for youth recreation, handicapped accessibility

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Two Mercer County communities are bringing home more than a quarter of a million dollars to improve recreational facilities. 

The Commonwealth Financing Authority’s Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program is awarding two separate grants to the Hermitage Athletic Complex Phase 3 Expansion and to Sharon's Buhl Community and Recreation Center. 

The $175,000 grant awarded to Hermitage will go toward construction of the athletic complex; which will add two large, open playfields and new parking facilities, along with an extended trail system.  

The project also includes excavating/grading, soccer field equipment, benches and bleachers, buffer yard planting, trail paving, drainage, topsoil, and seeding.

In Sharon, $150,000 will be put toward installation of an ADA-accessible elevator in its three-story facility that currently has none, which has kept the second and third floors inaccessible to those who are handicapped or have limited mobility.

Jason Kmick, executive director of the Sharon facility, said, "The board and staff of the Buhl Community Recreation Center are absolutely thrilled to be awarded this grant.  We strongly believe that our project, once completed, will have an immediate impact and significantly improve the accessibility of our center. The support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and our representative Mark Longietti to launch this project has afforded us an opportunity to further our mission and expand our capacity to provide greater access to health and wellness activities for all in our community.”
Kmick added, "There are many people working hard to improve downtown, Sharon. Given our location in the heart of downtown, we are excited to be a part of that movement. This grant has provided us an opportunity to add to that effort in updating our historic building.”
Gary Gulla, the assistant city manager for Hermitage, said, “This project, funded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority, will enable us to construct additional playfields to meet the ever-increasing demand for youth sports facilities – and to further build out the recreational trail system at the complex. Representative Longietti’s efforts to secure the CFA funding will benefit the community by investing in recreational resources for future generations.

State Representative Mark Longietti congratulated the coordinators of the two projects, saying “These projects will increase recreational opportunities for citizens of all ages in our community and will add to our rich quality of life. I appreciate the partnership between local and state officials in securing these important grants.”

State Senator Michele Brooks also commented on the grants saying, "Funded through Act 13 and the Greenways, Trails, and Recreation program, both of these projects invest in the community and provide health, wellness, and recreational opportunities for our families,” Brooks said. “I thank the local officials for their efforts in applying for this program.”

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