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Dream becomes reality as Tioga Community Center opens

TIOGA — The Tioga Community Center will host a grand opening today from 2 to 4 p.m., according to a news release.

The Tioga Area Economic Development Corporation, City of Tioga, The Bank of Tioga, area businesses and local community members will share in the opening event.

The $5.2 million project was steered by the development corporation and the Tioga Community Center building committee, with a lead gift from The Bank of Tioga. The corporation and bank worked with the city to make the dream a reality.

“It’s something the community needs. It helps keep families here,” City Auditor Abby Salinas said. “We’re really excited to have something that people from all walks of life can enjoy. It has something for everybody.”

The facility will have a gymnasium with walking path, outdoor ice rink, two private meeting rooms, an indoor activity center for children with playground equipment, banquet space and state-of-the-art kitchen. In warm months, the rink will be removed, with the space available for 4-H activities and the Tioga Fall Festival. The Tioga Community Library will be housed at the center as well.

“We’re excited to see this come to fruition and have the people enjoy it,” Salinas said.

The Bank of Tioga President David Grubb said the dream of a new community center has been around for decades. Grubb, Tioga Area Economic Development Corporation President Chris Norgaard and other donors and supporters teamed to make that dream a reality.

“It’s something that’s been talked about for 20 years,” Grubb said.

In 2016, The Bank of Tioga made a lead off gift of $100,000 to jump-start the fundraising efforts for the community center project.

“That was the seed that sprouted the flower,” said Norgaard.

Overall, The Bank of Tioga donated more than $135,000 in the development of the community showpiece. Last year, the bank donated $20,000, with $12,500 of that being able to put the ice rink back within the original project plans. In 2017, funds were used for the purchase of portable corrals for 4-H livestock activities.

“We want to thank everybody who helped us make this happen. When you have people like The Bank of Tioga helping us, it shows that they care and they are part of the community,” Salinas said. “We really appreciate that.”

Grubb said the bank is proud to have played a role in the project.

“The Tioga Community Center will serve as a visible icon and continue to improve the quality of life for people from Tioga and the surrounding area for years to come,” Grubb said.

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