Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community Center Plans Put on Hold

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community Center Plans Put on Hold

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher F. Aguilar, Shorelines staff writer

Atlantic Beach has put off plans to build a community center, leaning instead toward providing more programs at existing centers.

"We have three community centers in a town of 15,000 people and to build a fourth one . . . it's mission impossible," Mayor John Meserve said this week at a workshop. "I do not support putting money into a reserve and spending it on a community center."

On Monday, the commission was divided on the issue of the community center, which the city has been exploring since 2001 when a study showed that Atlantic Beach and Neptune Beach residents expressed a strong desire for one. Atlantic Beach joined Neptune Beach, the YMCA and the Boselli Foundation to fund the study and to possibly provide money for the community center.

The location chosen for the community center, the former Pic N' Save on Atlantic Boulevard, was purchased last year and a retail-restaurant complex is being built there now. Then former Jacksonville Jaguars player Tony Boselli moved his foundation to Houston when he was selected to play with their football team.

Atlantic Beach then joined the Winston Family YMCA of Ponte Vedra Beach to provide programs at existing community centers and schools. Since last year, the YMCA has started a tribe of Y Guides and Y Princesses, which help build relationships between fathers and their children. They also have started an after-school basketball program at Atlantic Beach Elementary.

This year, a basketball league was started at Mayport Middle School and two summer camps -- one at Mayport Middle and another at Adele Grage Community Center -- are being planned. Also, after-school flag football and several programs geared toward teenagers are being proposed. The YMCA has also hired a program director to develop activities for children with special needs in Ponte Vedra Beach and Atlantic Beach.

But not all commissioners agreed with Meserve to wait to build a community center. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.