Community Invited to View Designs and Offer Input 

Silver City -- Community members are invited to view models of the new Grant County Recreation Center, developed by 13 University of New Mexico (UNM) architecture graduate students, who toured the area recently to gain a better sense of the community and the new center's relationship to local culture, history and other recreational resources. The students' models and renderings will be on display Friday at the Grant County Business and Conference Center from 1-3 p.m.

"This is a great opportunity for local area residents to view these beautiful designs and become inspired and engaged in the development and design of this new facility," said Silver City Town Manager Alex Brown, who is leading the effort to bring the new recreation center project to fruition. "I am so excited about what the students have done, and we're so very grateful for their inspiration, time, energy and expertise. Now we're asking the community to share in their efforts and learn more about this new facility that is especially designed to serve families, veterans and seniors."

Tim Castillo, professor at UNM's School of Architecture and Planning, explained that the students' recent visit to Silver City was designed to inspire their creativity and design process, connecting the new recreation center to local history and culture, existing recreational resources and needs, as determined by a steering community which has worked for several months to identify recreational gaps and prioritize amenities that will be included recreational opportunities for Grant County residents. 

"The students came away very energized and inspired by their visit to the community, and that is reflected in the terrific designs that they've come up with," Castillo said, adding that the students also toured similar facilities in Albuquerque, and searched the globe virtually to gain inspiration from other such centers around the planet. "I think the community will be very excited and pleased by what these terrific young designers have created. We've also taken into account the importance of such facilities as a means to help the community re-envision its future with an eye toward economic opportunity and development."

The models and renderings of the new facility will reflect public input gathered this year from community surveys, interviews and focus groups. Local residents' recreational wish list includes additional basketball and pickle ball courts, Wi-Fi-accessible multi-purpose rooms, a track, a climbing wall, child care and more. The new recreational center will be located on the north side of 32nd street, across from Silver High and Gila Regional Medical Center. The center is made possible by $4 million in state funding, secured by Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales, and matched with more than $4 million from the Town of Silver City. 

For more information about the project, please contact Priscilla Lucero, executive director of the Southwest New Mexico Council of Governments, at (575) 388-1509.

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