TROY — Lincoln Community Center announced a building expansion project and capital fundraising campaign during a “Neighborhood Gathering” event Wednesday evening at the center.
According to Executive Director Shane Carter, LCC has been part of the Troy community for over 154 years. The original facility from which LCC was created housed a one-room school, which operated from 1865 to 1874, for African-American children in Troy. The foundation and footprint of that original school still exist within the front wing of the center.
LCC board president Karen Boone said the center began a “quiet fundraising campaign,” called The Legacy Campaign, late last year to reach out to local foundations, business and industry partners, community leaders, and individuals for financial support.
Pat and Thom Robinson were in attendance at Wednesday’s event and gave an announcement of financial support for the LCC project. The couple pledged to fund $1 million of the estimated $3.8 million total cost of the project.
Bart Denlinger, LCC board member and president of Denlinger and Sons Builders Inc., shared his plans to build the “Legacy House” in support of the campaign fundraiser.
“We’ve had a construction company here since ‘92,” Denlinger said. “Troy has been very good to my company, so part of the way for us to give back is to build our legacy model, with the help of a lot of our subcontractors, as economically as possible, with all the proceeds coming back to The Legacy Campaign here at the center.”
Denlinger said construction of the home is set to begin in March or April of this year.
Boone announced the start of the “public campaign” on Wednesday, which will include future fundraising events, the dates and details of which will be shared in the upcoming weeks and months.
Carter gave a presentation during Wednesday’s event to explain the vision behind the proposed expansion project. He noted several fundamental issues within the current facility, including lack of parking, need for ADA compliance, and lack of space and “functionality.”
Carter emphasized that in LCC’s 150-plus year legacy of “educating, informing and uplifting” thousands of youth and adults locally, the center has served as a “safe haven” and “true community center” for everyone.
“Our staff takes on a huge responsibility that I don’t think many people understand,” Carter said. “There are folks they’re dealing with from all walks of life … I think, ultimately, we’ve really had a lot of success by understanding the importance of that.”
The result of a three-year planning process, Carter said, is the proposed construction of new additional space for LCC, which would add 21,803 square feet of programming/activity/work space with ADA compliance and additional parking.
Included in the additional space will be a high school regulation gymnasium, lobby/reception area, program/activity area, exercise area/locker rooms/showers, staff offices/work areas/storage, and a kitchen/concession area. The space in the present historical building will be refreshed and continue to be used, as well.
Carter showed a site plan sketch to give a visual as to what the proposed project will entail. Houses at 124 and 130 1/2 Ash St. have been purchased by LCC and will be demolished to provide more room for expansion.
The additional facilities will be added to the back of the existing center, with guest parking to be added where the house at 124 Ash St. currently stands, and staff parking in the back of the new building.
Carter said it’s important to note that the core of what LCC stands for and provides will not change.
“We’re still going to be affordable, (and) we’ll still offer our programs free to our children. We are not changing the structure of our memberships, and we are not trying to do things differently; we’re trying to provide adequate space,” Carter said. “This will provide revenue streams that support the building and will allow us to do more for the community, so we’re very excited about that.”
Attendees on Wednesday also heard from Dr. Jim Daniel, volunteer director of Legacy Campaign, and LCC “graduates” Jay Dorsey and Alan May.