Rec center secures funds for new roof

STEUBENVILLE — Now that they have Community Development Block Grant funds to replace the roof of the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center, Parks and Recreation Director Lori Featherolf said she can use the department’s own money to buy new cabinets for it.

Featherolf figures the new roof will cost in the neighborhood of $175,000, money the department just didn’t have.

“We only have $100,000 a year in capital funds, so we wouldn’t have had enough to do the whole roof right now even if we used all (of it),” Featherolf said. “And we wouldn’t have been able to anything else the rest of the year.”

She said the grant money is a budget saver: The CDBG program, run by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, funds activities that primarily benefit low- to moderate-income individuals, like affordable housing, anti-poverty programs and infrastructure improvements.

“Since I got here almost two years ago, we’ve had more issues with water coming in when it rains, especially in the kitchen area and the activity room area,” she said. “When it rains, we have to put trash cans under the drips. It’s pretty bad.”

Featherolf said drips, “mostly around the exhaust fan over the stove,” had warped the existing cabinets.

“Last year, we had the roof repaired, but even the gentleman who did it told me he couldn’t promise it would last.. It’s been a long time since the roof was replaced, so its desperately needed this, and I’m happy that its CDBG money. I’m happy that it’s CDBG money, no city funds are being used for that.

The roof won’t have to be replaced over the gymnasium and weight room, city officials said.

The project’s architect, McKinley & Associates, is already working on the plans, specifications and bid documents.