NHCC

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pro­grams and pay for rou­tine main­te­nance and util­i­ties. The $64,000 was orig­i­nally ap­pro­pri­ated for NHCC in the county’s FY2009 bud­get and has been added to the recre­ation com­mis­sion’s bud­get.

WSCC of­fi­cials will be in charge of all pro­gram­ming de­ci­sions, and WSCC Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Bea Jack­son said the new cen­ter would have WSCC’s cor­ner­stone af­ter-school home­work tu­to­rial pro­gram. She also hoped to have nur­tur­ing pro­grams for moth­ers, a GED pro­gram and pos­si­bly even col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­grams with the lo­cal ju­ve­nile jus­tice depart­ment. Jack­son said com­mu­nity in­put would be sought and en­cour­aged as well.

How­ever, the cen­ter will take a while to get up and run­ning and Jack­son said the early fo­cus would be the tu­tor­ing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We’re ex­cited to be able get things go­ing for that com­mu­nity, be­cause they are cer­tainly de­serv­ing of such a grand fa­cil­ity. We want the com­mu­nity feel good about the cen­ter and give it what they want, suc­cess and safe, pro­duc­tive place for youth to go,” Jack­son said. “It’s a big job, but we feel up to the chal­lenge, we feel like have plenty to do at WSCC, but we do be­lieve we can de­liver good qual­ity pro­gram­ming.”

Jack­son said WSCC’s cur­rent op­er­at­ing bud­get is around $200,000, so the NHCC will have to have fewer pro­grams to ac­com­mo­date a $32,000 bud­get. She said much of that money will go to­ward hir­ing two em­ploy­ees for NHCC, an op­er­a­tions man­ager and a pro­gram di­rec­tor.

She said it’s taken years for WSCC to build up its fund­ing source and it will take years to build up NHCC’s fund­ing as well. Jack­son said she ex­pects to pur­sue var­i­ous grants and do­na­tions in the fu­ture.

In ad­di­tion, while WSCC is around 6,000 square feet, County Spe­cial Projects Co­or­di­na­tor Ch­eryl Delk said the NHCC is only 3,000 square feet. There­fore, NHCC will only be able to fit around 25 kids at any one time, un­like the 50 or more at WSCC.

While WSCC will con­trol all pro­gram­ming, if any out­side groups, like Newton Reads, want to come in and con­duct pro­grams, they will have to get per­mis­sion from the recre­ation com­mis­sion’s board of di­rec­tors.

Hai­ley said if the recre­ation com­mis­sion tried to run the cen­ter it­self, it would have cost more than $32,000 and would have re­quired an ad­di­tional county em­ployee, which can’t be af­forded.

“(WSCC’s) track record speaks for it­self and is im­pec­ca­ble. There was no sense for us to try to du­pli­cate what they al­ready do so well,” Hai­ley said.

The NHCC will be al­lowed to be rented out for meet­ings and com­mu­nity events as pre­vi­ously dis­cussed, at the dis­cre­tion of WSCC. The rental fees will be fi­nal­ized later, but all rental in­come will go to the recre­ation com­mis­sion and will help cover the cost of the NHCC. Any costs over $32,000 will be cov­ered by the recre­ation com­mis­sion. How­ever, any dam­age to the build­ing, out­side of nor­mal wear and tear, will be cov­ered by WSCC.

Hai­ley is a mem­ber of the WSCC Board of Di­rec­tors, and he will re­sign to avoid a con­flict of in­ter­est. In his place, the op­er­at­ing agree­ment calls for a res­i­dent of the Nel­son Heights com­mu­nity to be ap­pointed to the WSCC board.

District 4 Com­mis­sioner J.C. Hen­der­son, who worked to get the cen­ter on the 2005 SPLOST, has re­peat­edly stated he wanted the cen­ter to pri­mar­ily ben­e­fit the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity. Hai­ley thanked Hen­der­son for his work and said the board mem­ber would serve to en­sure the con­nec­tion to the area res­i­dents. Jack­son said the tu­to­rial pro­gram will be suc­cess­ful only with sig­nif­i­cant par­ent par­tic­i­pa­tion and she looks for­ward to work­ing with the com­mu­nity.

WSCC of­fi­cials will pro­vide monthly re­ports of all pro­grams to the recre­ation com­mis­sion board of di­rec­tors.

Hai­ley said all work at the new cen­ter is com­pleted in­clud­ing land­scap­ing. Ta­bles and chairs have been pur­chased and the county is in the process of pur­chas­ing a hand­ful of com­put­ers for the cen­ter. Delk said the to­tal cost to get the cen­ter run­ning to date has been $555,412. The NHCC has sat va­cant since it was com­pleted last sum­mer.

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