BURLINGTON - The City of Burlington, along with its project and community partners, will hold a public dedication of the Robert Miller Community and Recreational Center on Thursday December 18 at 1 pm. Members of the public are invited to attend.
The renovated building contains 20,000 square feet of space including a full size gym, two community rooms including one with a kitchen, teen center, children's space, arts and crafts room, fitness room and private rental area and administrative offices. It will offer programs and other recreational opportunities for people of all ages, with the ability to lease some of the space for commercial uses. Burlington's Parks and Recreation Department will manage the building.
The Armory was transferred to the City of Burlington from the State of Vermont in 2005 for a sum of $1. In 2005 a Citizen's Advisory Committee appointed by the City Council and convened by the City recommended that the space be redeveloped as a multi-use community and recreation center. This process followed voter approval in March of 2005 of a $250,000 annual increase in capital funding with the first four years of this increase earmarked for renovation of the Armory and improvements at Leddy Arena. In March of 2007, the Board of Finance meeting with the City Council Parks Arts and Culture Committee appointed a second Citizens Armory Committee chaired by Parks Commissioner John Ewing to make recommendations for a feasible financial plan for the project. This committee submitted a financial plan to the Board of Finance in October of 2007 which included a combination of public funding, private revenue sources, and fundraising to accomplish the project goals.
Developer Robert Miller, President of R.E.M. Development Company, was approached by Commissioner Ewing about the project and agreed to donate his time to manage the project. As the project progressed Mr. Miller also donated $100,000 towards the project costs. Private donations were also made by the Amy Tarrant Foundation, Lillian Venner, and the Lafayette Family. Renovation of the Armory began in July of 2008 and was completed in November of 2008. The total construction costs for the project are approximately $1.2 million. The Parks and Recreation Department and Department of Public Works were closely involved in the planning and construction process.
The Burlington City Council passed a resolution on November 17 naming the new center the Robert Miller Community and Recreation Center.