WAYNESBURG The metal and concrete block frame of the new EQT REC Center has begun to take shape at EverGreene Technology Park in Franklin Township.Construction of the 60,000-square-foot building, which will contain an indoor soccer field, basketball court, track, fitness center and many other amenities, began in the fall with an expected completion date later this year."I think for the most part we'll be ready for the opening, as scheduled, in late fall of this year," said David Jones, executive director of Greene County Memorial Hospital Foundation, which is building the center."We hope to get it under roof in the next month or so," Jones said. This will enable work to continue uninterrupted by weather.The $8 million facility is being constructed by the foundation, a nonprofit organization that was formed in 2005 with the proceeds of the sale of the former Greene County Memorial Hospital to Essent Healthcare. The hospital is now part of Washington Health System.The foundation's purpose is to fund programs to improve the health and well-being of county residents, and its grants have provided money to, for example, fund local youth summer camps and provide scholarships to students in health-related fields.The construction of the center was the foundation board's idea to create something lasting that could be used by the entire community, Jones said. A study also pointed out the need for a community recreation center in the county.The recreation center will include a 2,600-square-foot soccer field, a regulation basketball court, which also will be lined for volleyball and pickleball, an elevated walking and running track, and a fitness center.It will have a child-care room, three community rooms that can be used for educational or exercise programs or combined into one to hold events for as many as 200 people, two party rooms, a game room and conference room."The building will be able to serve many purposes," Jones said. "It will not be just a place where kids can come to play soccer," he said. "We believe it will be a gathering place, a community hub that will be busy throughout the day."The foundation is constructing the center with its own funds and with money raised through sponsorships and donations. The center is named after EQT Corp., the project's naming sponsor. Jones noted the REC in EQT REC stands for Recreation, Education, Community.So far, the foundation has raised close to $1.9 million for the project, Jones said. The foundation is raising money for the center partly to allow it to use its existing funds to continue its mission of providing grants for other local health programs, he said.Accepting donations for the center "also gives people a chance to be a part of it," Jones said. "Many people have said they love the idea (of the center) and want to be involved."Any person, group or company that would like to make a contribution to the project can call Jones at 724-852-2060.
© Copyright, 2017, Observer Publishing Company of Washington, Pa., source Newspapers