As Warminster's Parks & Recreation Director Karen Whitney prepares for the closing of the WREC Center, the township supervisors have started rolling on the search for funding to construct a replacement facility at Warminster Community Park.
One possible source of money may come from Pennsylvania's Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), a grant program that provides funds to regional projects that demonstrate potential for economic growth and the creation of jobs.
According to Valerie Piper, a project manager for Milligan & Company, the state has set aside $1.7 million for Warminster, and she can help the township jump through the hoops necessary to acquire the money.
"The township has to submit a business plan to the RACP committee that describes the project and how it will create and retain jobs," Piper told the Warminster Board of Supervisors last week.
If that plan is accepted, the township must fill out a more detailed application for the funds. If that application is approved, Warminster will then have 365 days to start construction. The supervisors gave Piper and her company the greenlight to get the process started with a 4-0 vote (Supervisor Tom Panzer was not in attendance).
While it may not get everything the Parks & Recreation department needs, the money will go a long way to help replace the WREC Center, Whitney said. With the loss of not only the former Hart Elementary, but also the closing and sale of Leary and Longstreth, one of the department's top priorities is a new gymnasium.
Otherwise, Whitney and township manager Rich Manfredi continue looking for replacement venues for the classes and meetings that occur nightly at the WREC. Some office and classroom space will be created next month by the arrival of four modular buildings totaling 2,000 sq.-ft., donated by Marriott Resorts in Absecon, N.J.
Contractors have been invited to bid on the pick-up, delivery and assembly of the modular units on the runway at Warminster Community Park. If and when a new WREC Center is constructed, those units will remain on the grounds and serve the department, Whitney said.