Community center meets $50,000 match for Windgate grant

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Eureka Springs Community Center

Foundation has come a long way in

just a few years.

Chairwoman Diane Murphy reported

Monday that the foundation has raised

enough money to meet the $50,000

match for the Windgate Charitable Foundation

grant. That means the grant has

brought in $100,000 for the community

center, Murphy said.

“This week, we will submit for the last

$20,000 of the total $50,000,” Murphy

said. “I am so excited about that.”

The money will help the community

center bring on a part-time activities

director, Murphy said, to help develop

programming in the open facilities. The

community center is looking for someone

who has experience with children

and organization.

“They need to be energetic and creative

and enthusiastic and organized,”

Murphy said. “We have a lot of those

people here.”

So far, Murphy said, the community

meeting room and the gym have been

completed.

“We’ve been so focused on facilities,

because obviously you have to have the

facility ready to do anything,” Murphy

said. “But the whole point of facilities is

to have people use the space.”

She said the activities director will be

vital in determining how the space can

be used, saying a committee will be set

up to help figure out programming at the

community center.

“They will start planning activities and

processes and what kind of things we can

host there and how we might block out

time to get it open for people,” Murphy

said. “It’s a huge milestone to get to the

point where we’re going to be able to get

it open and usable for everybody.”

Though only two facilities will be

ready for use, Murphy said there’s a lot

to do in those spaces.

“Whether we’re talking basketball or

walking in an inside space or Zumba or

yoga or various classes and meetings, it

makes a lot of things possible,” Murphy

said. “I hope we can start going down the

path of envisioning what else can happen

there.”

Those facilities have already been the

site of big events, including the Chocolate

Festival and a gardening class sponsored

by the University of Arkansas. The Chocolate

Festival brought 700-800 people to

the community center, Murphy said.

“Managing the flow of people is always

a challenge, so I was really happy

for that to have gone so well,” she said.

“It was very exciting to have a big event

there.”

The gardening class filled the community

meeting room, Murphy said. She

explained why the class was held at the

community center, saying it was a partnership

with the Carroll County Extension

Office and the University of Arkansas.

That was made possible by a greenhouse

grant from AT&T, Murphy said.

“They went longer than intended, because

there was so much enthusiasm and

a lot of questions,” Murphy said. “I’m

really, really happy with how that went.”

The next class offered at the community

center, Murphy said, will bring University

of Arkansas professors to town.

“It’s more for professional development

for people who are already professional

growers or want to be professional

growers,” Murphy said.

The meeting space is available for

anyone in the community to use, she

said, for a manageable fee. Murphy said

none of this would be possible without

the community supporting the project.

“I want to give a big thank you to everybody

that contributed to the Windgate

grant to get us here, because everybody

who contributed made this happen,”

Murphy said. “It’s huge.”

For more information on the community

center, visit www.EurekaSpringsCommunityCenter.

org.

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