A grassroots community organization is considering a plan that would bring a new community center to the Clay City area.
Harrison Township Trustee Kay Hart and members of the Harrison Township Board and Friends of the Library formed REIN (Recreation, Education, Information and Nutrition) with the intention of turning money willed to the now-defunct Clay County Hospital into a community center in Goshorn Park. Hart said plans for the building include a large community room, swimming pool, food pantry and library.
"We just got together and said, 'Hey, wouldn't it be nice if we could do a (multi-purpose) building?' All the sudden, it just came together," she said.
With $95,000 in seed money -- awarded to the township from the estate of Louis Shafer -- Hart and other REIN members plan to apply for grants and solicit foundations to foot the cost of the building, which Clay County Commissioner Dave Parr ballparked at around $500,000.
Early plans for the Shafer inheritance were centered around a public swimming pool, but Hart and others decided on a multi-purpose facility that would meet a variety of needs.
"Our Orange Building (an existing multi-purpose building in Goshorn Park) is in such bad shape, and it would take a lot to redo it," Hart said. "(The planned community building) just makes more sense to us."
Hart said the building would also feature a large community room equipped with a kitchen, to accommodate fish fries and other events.
She stressed the building's library would not be tax-supported, operating instead through grants and fundraisers.
Plans for the building also include a space for the Southern Clay County Christian Care and Share Bread Basket food pantry, for which Hart serves as coordinator.
"The food pantry is already self-supporting, it's just that we need a new facility," she said.
While the project is still in the planning stage, Hart looks forward to the completion of a facility that will benefit all of southern Clay County.
"It's not just for Harrison Township, it's for the outlying (area) also," she said. "We want everybody to feel like they're part of it, whether they're in (Clay City) or not."