County Mayor and Commissioners to Receive John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award

March 28, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
DeKalb County Complex

County Mayor Mike Foster and a few of the county commissioners will be in Nashville next Thursday to receive the John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award presented by The Tennessee Development District Association and The Upper Cumberland Development District.

The Wilder award is presented for a special project in each of the state's nine development districts. The DeKalb County Complex was selected as the project worthy of this year's award in the UCDD. Each recipient will receive a commemorative plaque that recognizes their achievements.

The plaques will be presented by the East, Middle, and West Tennessee Development District Association Vice-Presidents at the TDDA Annual Rebuild Tennessee Awards Breakfast on April 4th at the downtown Sheraton in Nashville. The observance is part of the 2013 Annual TDDA Annual Conference and Business Meeting April 3 & 4.

"The John S. Wilder Rebuild Tennessee Award is selected by each development district," said Teresa Sanders, Coordinator for the Conference and Annual Meeting. "Tennessee is divided into nine development districts and each one chooses a project in their district to be recognized. It can be a project they are affiliated with or it can be a project that is beneficial to that region overall," said Sanders.

The following is a description of the DeKalb County Complex project submitted for award consideration:

"The DeKalb County Commission saw that there was a major need for a multi-use community facility in their county seat, Smithville. To meet that need, DeKalb County purchased an abandoned strip center about two blocks from the courthouse on Hwy 56 South. This property is 5.5 acres of land and a 63,000 square foot building. The county conducted numerous meetings with people of different organizations, ages and agendas. After a year of planning they began working with architects, builders and the general public to develop the layout for the new facility".

"Development and construction of a 4,000 square foot Farmer's Market facility on the property commenced soon after the purchase. Last year the Farmer's Market had about 40 vendors in peak season".

"The development of the 63,000 sq ft building was split into three phases. The County developed approximately 4,500 sq ft of space for rental to the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency for offices. Office space was prepared to relocate the DeKalb County Register of Deeds, County Court Clerk, Trustee, and Property Assessor from the courthouse. A large County Archives and records space, kitchen, and approximately 3,000 sq ft for a future DeKalb County History Museum completed the first phase".

"The second phase included seven meeting/classrooms including a computer lab that will be utilized by Motlow State Community College, DeKalb County GED Program, Art Revolution, Workforce Development, and the American Red Cross. There is a section for use by the UT Extension Service, a kitchen, and a meeting room for 80 with an overhead projector. The DeKalb County Senior Citizens has an area of approximately 4,000 square feet with a meeting/dining room, kitchen, card room, storage room, and office space".

"Phase three connected the Senior Citizens with a 2,000 sq ft room used by 70 seniors for silver sneakers exercise during the day and parties, meetings, and dances as needed. There is a fitness center that house about 40 treadmills, elliptical, stationary bikes, upper and lower body machines, weight machines, benches, and other exercise machines. There is a 2,000 sq ft game room equipped with pool tables, air hockey, tables, computer games, Wii games, X-Box 360 games, traditional pinball and video games, and many other game machines".

"The auditorium seats about 400 and has a large 44'x27' stage with dressing rooms, lighting and a sound system for up to 36 microphones. This area has a projector for movies and local industry training events with a 13'x8' screen. Storage on each side of the stage has capacity for approximately 450 chairs and 80 tables".

"A café is the center of this section with seating for 100, a full community kitchen, and office space. The café has a big screen TV and wrap-around music. There is also a snack bar available".

"Total project cost was just over $3.2 million. DeKalb County received $63,000 in grant funding from USDA Rural Development, Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Archives, and

"The project has been a huge success for the county giving both the old and young a safe place to gather, improve their fitness, socialize, and become a more active participant in their community".

"Some of the highlights from the first year that the DeKalb County Complex has been open include:

*Five Plays performed by the Brentwood Theater Group
*Two Ballets, the Nutcracker and Carmen, performed by the Nashville Dance Theatre
*Channel 4 Weather training with 450 people attending
*Monthly movie night
*Monthly band and Songwriter's night
*Monthly Senior's Dance
*Basketball Training 4 nights/week
*70 Senior's Exercise Silver Sneakers 2 times/week
*Fitness Membership currently has 1,010 paying members

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