Twenty organizations and their projects in the Mahoning Valley have received funding through the state capital budget, from parks and museums to educational programs.
“These are high quality of life projects that not only benefit nearby residents, but also area residents who are drawn to these projects,” said State Representative Michael O’Brien, D-Warren.
He is part of the Valley Legislative Delegation which also includes State Representatives Michele Lepore-Hagan, D-Youngstown; Al Cutrona, R-Canfield; Mike Loychik, R-Bazetta; and Sense state. Michael Rulli, R-Salem and Sandra O’Brien, R-Lenox.
Eight projects in Trumbull County received funding totaling $2.5 million. Among them:
• Mosquito Lake State Park received $404,000. New restrooms, a grassed area for picnic tables and trails connecting to existing trails will be added to Mosquito Lake Park at the corner of West Main Street and McCleary Jacoby Road in Cortland, adjacent to Hillside Cemetery. This area is commonly used as an informal access for boating and lake viewing. During the summer it is also a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing.
This is the first phase of park improvements with the City of Cortland’s contribution of $96,000. Cortland will spend $4,000 per year on maintenance and electricity once the project is complete.
Future phases could include paving the existing gravel car park; providing heating to the upcoming toilets, which would allow them to be used in winter; and the expansion of recreational trails to Eastlake Metropark, where a wildlife education center is planned, as well as restrooms, an outdoor amphitheater and an area to host festivals. These phases will likely cost an additional $3 million.
“We just want to be good stewards of these funds,” said Cortland Mayor Deidre Petrosky. “So when we ask for future upgrades next time, we will have a favorable chance when funding becomes available. All of this is good for the greater community.
This project is one of the first steps in a downtown revitalization project. Mosquito Lake brings people to Cortland and this project should bring more, Petrosky noted. When these people come, she wants the downtown to be improved for them.
Petrosky said the planned improvements could open doors to future opportunities for the park. The area was skipped for the addition of a story walk, as there was no access to restrooms. Although the walk still ended in Bazetta, Petrosky hopes the area will be a strong contender for future projects.
• The Niles Greenway Bike Path received $300,000. Two bridges, previously used for trains but no longer in use, will be upgraded to form part of the Niles Greenway cycle route. One is located on Robbins Avenue and the other on Main Street. Niles is partnering with Trumbull County Commissioners and Trumbull County MetroParks to repair and paint the bridges so they can be added to the bike path.
“Being able to spruce up these bridges is a major win for the City of Niles,” said Mayor Steve Mientkiewicz.
The bridges are owned by CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern, Trumbull County MetroParks Executive Director Zachary Svette said, meaning the county still needs to negotiate before the project can begin. The project is expected to start in late 2023 or early 2024.
Due to the location of the bridges, Svette said they would make good connectors between Niles and Warren.
These Trumbull County organizations also received funding:
• BRITE Energy Innovators, $500,000.
• West Farmington Park, $200,000.
• Mecca Township Recreation Center, $100,000.
• Trumbull County Farm and Family Education Center, $9,000 for repairs.
• Vienna Aerial Heritage Park, $500,000.
• Kent State University in Trumbull, $500,000 to replace the roof of its library.
“Coming out of the pandemic, we are seeing a resurgence in the drive to define who we are as a community,” said Lepore-Hagan. “I always push to support our artists whenever I can. We have these great gifts in our community that we need to uplift.
Twelve projects in Mahoning County received funding totaling nearly $15 million:
• DeYor Performing Arts Center in Youngstown, $600,000. The funds will go towards the first part of a $3 million renovation, which includes a new roof for the center and handicapped-accessible restrooms and an elevator for the Adler Art Academy.
The board is currently developing a plan to raise additional funds, so a construction date has not yet been set.
DeYor wants to be able to lease the Adler Art Academy, but wants to make changes first to make it accessible, said JoAnn Stock, director of development for Stambaugh Auditorium and the DeYor Performing Arts Center. Once the necessary renovations are complete, Adler will be used as an arts incubator. Tenants will be able to use it as a studio and rehearsal space, offices and creative space.
The Adler Art Academy will equip artists, arts entrepreneurs and arts organizations with the skills, tools and business environment to help them succeed, according to the funding proposal.
The need for a roof replacement is great, Stock noted, as the center’s interior suffered water damage from several roof leaks.
“The preservation of this historic building is essential to the artistic and cultural fabric of the city centre”, said Stock. “It’s a treasure for the community.”
• OH WOW! The Roger and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology in Youngstown received $600,000. In an effort to become more inclusive, OH WOW! will use these funds to make the center more accessible to people with physical disabilities. This includes rear access with an elevator that reaches all four floors and the roof of the facility, updating facility operating systems, and adding new community education and exhibit space.
“It matters because we are building towards an inclusive future,” said executive director Marvin Logan Jr. “Our explorers are becoming the future of STEM.”
Construction on these projects will likely begin this fall, according to a press release from OH WOW! – noting that this is a “a huge win for Voltage Valley and STEM education.”
• The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, $300,000. The Butler will expand its gallery space for its new media and electronic art section, the Bermant Gallery, to include a multi-story glass facade, through which the art can be viewed by pedestrians and visitors alike. passing cars.
It’s a 30-by-40-foot extension of the Beecher Center for Large-Scale Art, whose development director Rebecca Davis will cost a total of $3.4 million.
In December 2020, the Butler received a collection from the late art curator David Bermant. The expansion will allow more works from the collection to be displayed and will include additional storage space for the collection.
These Mahoning County organizations also received funding:
• Canfield Innovative Energy and Technology Workforce Training Center, $250,000.
• Heritage Manor Rehabilitation and Retirement Community, $250,000.
• Austintown Township Park, $140,000 to replace the existing strip envelope.
• Polish Historical Society, $25,000.
• Forest Lawn Stormwater Park, $750,000 for an environmental education pavilion at Boardman.
• Lowellville Community Literacy Workforce Training Centre, $650,000.
• Mahoning County Agricultural Society, $500,000 for Canfield Fair.
• Flying High in Youngstown, which provides worker training, housing assistance and economic opportunities, $400,000.
• Youngstown State University received $10.5 million for improvements to various campus buildings.