BY JAMES HARPER
Construction of the Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Cultural and Educational Center is complete with the exception of landscaping and furnishings for the building.
Daytona Beach commissioners voted unanimously last week to increase the budget allotted for the center by $330,000 from money provided by the Daytona Beach Racing & Recreational Facilities District Grant Funds that will be received over the next two years.
City staff is hopeful the facility will open in March.
The commission authorized City Manager Jim Chisholm to advance $200,000 from the city’s Capital Projects fund to go with $100,000 already received from the DBRF grant funds. Still left from remaining project funds is $30,000.
Trying to avoid ‘unnecessary delay’
Initially, back in December 2011, the commission authorized $2,689,000 for the construction of the center but that amount did not include landscaping or funds to purchase furniture, finishes, equipment and other amenities.
The $30,000 remaining in project funds was approved by the commission to go toward landscaping improvements.
Chisholm said with the city’s commissioners vote to transfer funds, they hope the center will be opening sometime in March.
The funds advanced from the capital projects fund will be paid back from racing and recreational grant proceeds that will be received over the next two years.
In a memo sent to Chisholm, the funds approved by the commission was needed “to expedite the completion of the facility in order to prevent contract delay claims, price increases, and an unnecessary delay in the opening of the facility consistent with the commission’s desire to open the facility as soon as possible.”
A long time coming
The $300,000 will help finish the gym, which needs flooring, bleachers, basketball backboards, a remote-control scoreboard and volleyball nets in addition to other furniture for the center.
Leisure Services Director Percy Williamson has been working to make the Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Center become a reality since shortly after the former mayor died in December 2006.
The center, located on Vine Street, on the eastern edge of Derbyshire Park, has four wings dedicated to the arts, education, culture and sports. The four wings wrap around a square-shaped, open-air courtyard and amphitheater. The main entrance will be flanked by two sculpture gardens.
Residents will have a place to play basketball, hold community dinners, get help with homework, take a yoga class and learn about photography.
There are studios for photography, computer animation and painting; spaces for art and dance classes; a library and a permanent historic exhibit featuring memorabilia celebrating the city’s first Black mayor.