Updated: RSU 73 to receive federal funding for upgrades to recreation facilities

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Washington, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced that the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has received $1,077,257 to support four projects across Maine. Each of the projects will use the funding to repair, renovate, or improve existing recreational facilities. This funding was awarded through the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund State and Local Assistance Program.

RSU 73 will receive $206,624 to demolish existing, obsolete tennis courts at the Spruce Mountain Elementary School in Jay, and construct three new, ADA-compliant courts in their place. According to the press release, the grant recipient will also install new LED lighting and ADA-compliant walkways leading to the courts.

The courts are located on the RSU 73 school complex, according to a press release from the Town of Jay, RSU 73, and the HollandStrong Community Foundation. The HollandStrong Community Foundation has been instrumental in applying for this grant and in securing additional funds necessary for the project.

The press release from the senators created some confusion around who the recipient of the grant is, which was clarified in the release from Jay and RSU 73. When the tennis courts were originally built the property was owned by the Town of Jay, and the courts are located in Jay. However, the grant will be awarded to RSU 73 and will benefit the students and community members in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

“Increasing access to outdoor recreational opportunities helps people stay active and healthy, and it benefits the entire region,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This investment through the Land and Water Conservation Fund will repair and upgrade existing facilities for tennis, basketball, football, and baseball as well as other community resources that will be used by current residents as well as by future generations.” 

 In addition, the Town of Cherryfield received $40,000 to renovate existing town-owned tennis and basketball courts. The parking area will be updated with gravel, barriers, and a handicap accessible ramp. The project also includes installing raised vegetable beds for a community garden as well as a picnic area.

Skowhegan received $330,633 to upgrade infrastructure at an existing football field complex, install new dugouts at the Carl Wright Baseball Complex, and increase ADA accessibility at the Skowhegan Recreation Complex.

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands received $500,000 to make improvements to Recreation Hall, an existing building at the Lake George Regional Park in Canaan. The updates include roof and flooring renovations, general maintenance, safety feature installations, and increased ADA access. A new road with tiered parking and handicap spaces will also be installed.

Editor’s Note: this story was updated with information from the Town of Jay, RSU 73, and the HollandStrong Community Foundation. 

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