Officials of the 14th Street Community Center gathered Friday, to accept a $6,000 check from Fifth Third Bank's Fifth Third Foundation. The presentation was highlighted with a brief tour of the new center, which is set to open in March.
Regina Lipscomb, Fifth Third's community development officer, presented the check to community center representatives Dr. John Valentine and Orville Ferguson. The grant will be used to help pay for construction of a parking lot and assist with the installation of a wheelchair-accessible door and crime prevention lighting, Lipscomb said.
The 14th Street Community Center provides educational opportunities to people living in the Portsmouth area. Through programs offered in its computer labs, library, crafts room, weight room, basketball court/dance floor and moveable stage, the center's goal is to promote values and skills to young people in the community, so they can be full participants in their environments, Lipscomb said.
"The Fifth Third Foundation is very excited to be part of the 14th Street Community Center's growth and development," she said. "The tenacity and persistence of those who have worked to expand the reach of the center impressed upon us their desire for a better Portsmouth. They have worked diligently to ensure the community center will become a pivotal point for area youth in years to come."
Ferguson, the center's president and a member of the center's board of trustees, said students from Shawnee State University will help in the computer labs, and other partnerships will be developed once the center is open. He and Valentine said a director will be named in the near future.