Community Development Block Grant
Fayetteville, AR - Mayor Fred Hanna
Yvonne Richardson Community Center
In May 1994, a citizens group met with the Mayor to request that the City build a community center in Southeast Fayetteville, a predominately low- and moderate-income, ethnically diverse community. The center's purpose would be to "provide a place of structured recreation, socialization and extracurricular learning for the citizens of Fayetteville." It was named in memory of Yvonne Richardson, daughter of University of Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson and his wife Rose, who died of leukemia in 1987.
The 10,000-square-foot Yvonne Richardson Community Center includes a full-size gymnasium and basketball court, office space, a storage room, a meeting room for use by citizen groups, a multi-purpose room stocked with games and toys for younger children, and computers for young students. Most of the recreation equipment was purchased with donations from area businesses and private individuals. The computers, books, games and toys in the multi-purpose area also are donated. Gentle landscaping and mature trees surround the building. A small City park is nearby, and one of the parking lots is connected to the Center by a footbridge over a wet-weather creek. On average, 1,500 persons use the Center each month.
Sparked by the City's commitment of $300,000 in CDBG funds for the construction of the project, other funding sources came forward. A prominent local attorney donated the land; the Governor's Office provided $10,000; Reebok Co. provided $20,500. The City's Street Division provided the asphalt paving for the parking areas.
CDBG funds continue to support the Center, providing staff support and the Center Director's salary. They also will be used to install children's playground equipment and a family picnic area on adjacent City-owned property. Other continuing public and private support comes from City general funds, private donations, volunteers and the Center's advisory board.
Contact: James Nicholson, Community Development Representative, (501) 575-8260
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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