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Sports center gets state funds

Friends of Middlebury Hockey received a check from the state of Vermont in the amount of $10,000 for the Memorial Sports Center Expansion Project. The grant was awarded from 2007 Vermont General Assembly appropriated tax funds through a competitive grant process for recreational and educational facilities across the state. The Memorial Sports Center Expansion Project is an exciting step in the growth of the Memorial Sports Center facility. In addition to ice hockey and ice skating activities, the facility hosts numerous other key community events, such as school graduations, spring sporting events, and charity fundraisers. The need to move the outdated locker room and bathroom facilities from the municipal pool house to the Memorial Sports Center building has been evident for many years. The lack of warm viewing areas for parents and fans also makes it challenging to follow youth and high school sporting events in the wintertime. The Expansion Project Plan includes an addition to the west end of the building and it will include four locker rooms, in-house bathrooms and showers, a heated and elevated viewing area, a concession stand, skate rental/retail space, and a meeting room. Commercial-grade artificial turf for usage in spring, summer and fall will be added as part of the project to encourage year-round use of the facility. A traffic loop from the west will be provided for emergency vehicles and public transportation access. The projected cost of the project is $1,640,000 and approximately $600,000 of the total must be raised through private donations, grants, and other fundraising activities. No municipal funding has been used for any of the building or improvement projects in the Memorial Sports Center. Friends of Middlebury Hockey has set a groundbreaking goal for the project to take place in 2008, so that the improved facility can be used for the 2008-2009 season. Persons or groups interested in donating to the expansion project can contact Jim Swift at (802) 388-0580.

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