A conceptual plan and drawing from Engineering Northwest LLC of Ontario shows the design for the new community center.

JORDAN VALLEY – Quietly and with little fanfare, work on a plan to build a new community center in Jordan Valley is moving ahead.

The collaborative effort between the Jordan Valley Lions Club, the Ford Family Foundation, the Jordan Valley Rodeo Board and local residents aims to build an 8,400 square-foot assembly hall. The new community center will be an extension of the 3,200-square-foot Lions Club building across from the rodeo grounds constructed more than 40 years ago.

Jordan Valley needs a place where people can gather for events such as weddings, funerals or fundraisers, said resident Tara Echave. Echave is one of a large number of local residents working to make the community center a reality.

Places like St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, the high school and the current Lions Club hall aren’t big enough, Echave said.

Echave said the city park can be used for gatherings but it is at the mercy of weather.

“And there is no indoor place to cook (at the park) or anything like that,” said Echave. “We need a bigger kitchen, improved bathrooms and a bigger meeting hall.”

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Echave, who is also a member of the Jordan Valley Lions Club, said community members are collecting donations to get the project off the ground. A dinner in January also helped raise funds and provided a platform for community members to comment on the idea.

Echave said the seed for the idea of a new facility was planted last summer when a representative from the Ford Family Foundation met with community members about the key needs for Jordan Valley.

Plans now call for the community to raise $50,000, said Echave.

“We also had a private donor say once we raised $50,000 they will give us another $50,000. The Ford Family Foundation has said verbally they are willing to fund a third of the project,” said Echave.

The foundation also provided a small grant to help on the project, said Echave. Echave said the rodeo board also agreed to donate a small parcel of property near the Lions Club building to help the community center project.

She said community buy-in on the project is crucial.

“Right now, we are trying to educate and gather input and get information out to the community,” said Echave.

Preliminary plans are drawn for the facility and several contractors have agreed to bid, said Echave.

A final price tag isn’t available yet, said Echave.

 “We are listening to the voices in our community,” said Echave.

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