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GOLDTHWAITE, Texas – The Goldthwaite Consolidated Independent School District will make major improvements to the Mills County Civic Center, a popular spot for community events, thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Goldthwaite.
The civic center is the only venue in the area large enough to accommodate events such as the Mills County Youth Fair & Stock Show, rodeos, Artisan Guild craft fairs and an annual fall festival. The site also hosts Lions Club meetings and other community gatherings and serves as a site for students to take college entrance exams.
The grant, along with $50,000 in matching funds, will allow the school district to expand bathrooms and make them handicapped-accessible, renovate the outdated kitchen to make it capable of serving large events, and upgrade the electrical system. The building has not been renovated since it was built in 1975.
“The electricity has not been upgraded, the bathrooms are actually in a closet and backed up at the last stock show we had, and the kitchen is nonfunctional,” said Jenice Benningfield, technology director for the school district. “This is something our board has wanted to do for a long time, but when the bids came in, we thought ‘How are we ever going to do this?’”
Benningfield said the grant-funded improvements will make the center more attractive as a meeting venue and will enable it to host larger events.
“We’ve heard from groups like the Artisan Guild that they want to come and do more shows, and this could allow that,” Benningfield said. “And our ag teachers are over-the-top excited that they’ll have these improvements to help educate and show off what our students are doing.”
LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said it’s clear how important the civic center is to the Goldthwaite area.
“One of the things that stands out about this project is the variety of people and organizations that count on the Mill County Civic Center for their events,” Wilson said. “To be able to hold large gatherings in Goldthwaite benefits local residents, as well as helps to showcase the city to visitors.”
Wilson said the renovations will enable the center to host gatherings for years to come.
“This is an important meeting place for the whole area,” he said. “When this project is complete, the center will be ready to host many groups it can’t accommodate now. LCRA is very pleased to play a part in helping make the renovations a reality.’’
The community grant is one of 25 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Goldthwaite is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.
Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at lcra.org/cdpp.
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit lcra.org.