Mt. Vernon helps residents stay in shape - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Mt. Vernon helps residents stay in shape

There are several projects in the works for the Mt. Vernon community and city leaders say some of the plans will help residents continue to stay in shape. There are several projects in the works for the Mt. Vernon community and city leaders say some of the plans will help residents continue to stay in shape.
MT. VERNON, IL (KFVS) -

There are several projects in the works for the Mt. Vernon community and city leaders say some of the plans will help residents continue to stay in shape.

The armory, located on the corner of Broadway and 7th Street, was built in the 1930s and used by the Illinois National guard.

City leaders say it was also a place for community gatherings and recreational activities.

Now that it's vacant, the city plans to restore the building and bring activities back for everyone to enjoy.

Mayor Mary Jane Chesley said the city received the armory from the state of Illinois.

It was vacated because the armory moved to a new location.

Since 2009, city leaders say they've wanted to create a recreation center, making it a focal point to the area.

And about a year ago, they started making changes. A new roof and windows were fixed, costing about half a million dollars.

But after those improvements, city leaders said they needed help.

“And the State of Illinois through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and with a park grant, realized that it was a good project and they gave us 1.55 million dollars for that site,” Mayor Chesley said.

The mayor stated at this new facility, basketball and volleyball courts, yoga classes, and other exercise activities will be available. And residents say this project will help the city's economy.

“I think it'll be exciting what new ventures will come in and help out this area – economically and socially,” resident Beth Schrader said.

But that's not all Mt. Vernon is doing to help its city stay in shape.

The community also received money for safe school routes, creating and improving better sidewalks and allowing students and families to have option to walk to class.

“Also it's an advantage for families, we don't have enough activities where they can walk together and do activities together,” Mayor Chesley said.

City leaders stated the grant for the safe routes to school was $157,000 on a $196,000 dollar budget, and will take eight to nine months to complete the project.

In total, city leaders say the recreation project will cost roughly $2.1 million and say it will take roughly 18 months to complete when they begin in the January 2015.

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