Storey County breaks ground on community center |

Storey County breaks ground on community center

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer

With the sounds of children enjoying the skate park and the community pool in the background, a shovel pierced the grass in Virginia City and gave a physical presence to a decade-old idea.

“This has been a 10-year volunteer effort. It was an idea for years and years, and we are finally to the place where it’s not just an idea anymore,” said Shaun Griffin, Storey County Community Chest executive director.

The project is the Storey County Youth and Community Resource Center, an 8,000-square-foot building to be constructed in two phases adjacent to Miner’s Park in a space currently occupied by the skate park.

“There is a need for this center because there is no place for programs for the youth and community service programs,” Griffin said. “There is no gathering place for the community.”

Shaelynn Sprong, a volunteer for the project, said, “There have been so many people along the way that have touched this project with their hands, their hearts and their heads.”

A chunk of the $800,000 needed to begin construction of phase 1 was obtained in 2004 when the community center achieved a $350,000 allotment from Congress, with the help of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The project has also applied for a $400,000 grant recently made available by the Nevada Department of Economic Development. The recipient of that grant will be announced in October.

The center also received a $10,000 grant from the Charles Schwab Foundation to cover the cost of the architect for the project. The grant is renewable for three years or a total of $30,000.

Hannafin Design Associates of Carson City has been working on the project since its early stages.

“Art Hannafin came on board this project in 1995 and donated hundreds of hours of his time to help get the project where it is today,” Griffin said.

Because the site is sitting on fill material, it must be dug up and compacted again over the winter, with construction on phase 1 anticipated to start in spring 2007.

“We have been trying to get the money and the funding we need for a long time, but I sense now that the momentum is changing,” Griffin said.

The project will need an additional $1.2 million to complete phase 2, resulting in a total cost of $2.016 million.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.