Community Center wins competitive $4.1 million state grant - – Rockford’s News Leader

Community Center wins competitive $4.1 million state grant


Kids from the Rockford area are on the receiving end of a $4 million grant, indirectly.  

We told you about the grant a couple of days ago. We sat down with Harlem Community Center's executive director to learn more.  

The HCC applied for the grant more than a year ago. Executive director Shannon Scheffel says she's ecstatic. "I cried. I was so excited. It's something that just means so much for the organization."

Four point one million dollars from the Illinois Capital Development Board will help the Harlem Community Center pay for a 20,000 square foot child care center.

"We currently operate our child care center, but it's a space that we lease, and so having a building of our own that we know is going to be for us, it ensures the stability of the organization, and the stability of the child care for years to come." says Scheffel.

Scheffel says the future location is ideal. It sits on a portion of HCC's 34 acre sports complex off of Forest Hills Road.

"And then its also very close to the 173 corridor and the new Woodward expansion and other businesses so I think it's going to be very beneficial to the children and for our community," says Sheffel.

The grant does not cover the entire cost of the building. As part of the application process, the non-profit had to raise 10 percent on its own. Scheffel says the organization's excited to move the project forward.  "It's such a time for our community to have construction jobs and child care places, I just think it's a win-win for all of us."

The HCC competed with more than 250 other organizations for a portion of the available 46 million dollars. Only 15 applicants got money.
The project is shovel ready, the HCC is waiting for everything to be finalized with the state before they can break ground on the new building. Scheffel says they expect it should be in late spring around May

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