Center officials hope grant-funded renovations will improve qual - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Center officials hope grant-funded renovations will improve quality of life

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CENTER, TX (KTRE) -

Many things will soon look different in Center.

Those great changes include sidewalks, ball parks, and even touch-us to a well known historic house. But there's one thing Mayor David Chadwick is most proud of.

"Our youth in small towns are always looking for something to do and there's nothing better than connecting with outdoors whether it be at ball fields, whether it be with nature trails, or being able to ride a bike on something that is not in the middle of the street," said Center Mayor David Chadwick.

Taking a stroll down the street will now be a lot safer down Roughrider Drive and Highway 96.

"The sidewalk project overall was $3 million," said Jim Gibson, Center's assistant city manager.

The new sidewalks may be pretty costly, but they are worth it for residents.

"We're finding that our population walks a lot more than they used to," Chadwick said.

Aside from sidewalk, there are other additions that will benefit families and youth in Center.

"We plan to see our youth sports expand and grow with the development of additional sports facilities like the softball complex," said Chad Nehring, Center's city manager.

This week, visitors are in town because Center is becoming a great location to host baseball and softball tournaments.

A newly added bridge structure will add convenience. It was built in connection with the sidewalk project funded by TxDOT for safer pedestrian access.

"Part of the reason council selected the diverse array of projects they did was to appeal to a lot of different groups and users in the community," Nehring said.

Renovations are also currently being made to the historic Community House near downtown.

"It had gotten older, had been less used," Chadwick said. "The grant has allowed us to come in and revitalize that. It's always been popular; it brings back a lot of memories."

Once completed, each renovation will add value for everyone.

"All of these projects are geared toward improving the quality of life for the city of Center," Gibson said.

Nehring says each project will be completed over the next few months. Many of the primary components are already finished for renovations.

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