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Manistique Senior Center hopes renovation becomes a reality

Courtesy photo A conceptual rendering of an expanded and renovated Manistique Senior Citizens Center is pictured. According to Senior Center Executive Director Jennifer VanDyck, a multimillion-dollar grant opportunity from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation could potentially fund 90 percent of the project.

MANISTIQUE — A multimillion-dollar grant opportunity from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) could potentially fund a major project at the Manistique Senior Citizens Center.

“We want to expand out — we want to renovate our existing senior center,” Senior Center Executive Director Jennifer VanDyck said.

This would involve the construction of an expansion to the center and the complete renovation of its existing building.

The city of Manistique would have to apply for the grant, VanDyck said. She noted the city’s government has expressed its willingness to get involved.

“They back and they support the project entirely,” she said.

If the city’s application for the grant is successful, almost the entire cost of the project could be covered by the grant.

“The grant would cover 90 percent of (the) $2.2 million,” VanDyck said.

The remaining 10 percent would be covered with matching funds.

VanDyck said the senior center is governed by two boards — the Manistique Senior Citizens Center board and the Schoolcraft County Commission on Aging board.

“Both boards have committed to matching for the 10 percent,” she said.

The boards have agreed to contribute $110,000 each towards the project if the grant application is successful.

This is not the first time the senior center has attempted a project of this scope, VanDyck said. The plans in place for the center’s remodeling and expansion are nearly identical to plans created during a previous attempt to revamp the center.

“Back in 2016, the senior center ran a millage request for a building renovation and it was defeated … but it’s the same plans that we have,” she said.

VanDyck noted the only difference between the old and new plans is that the new plans include a renovated kitchen. She also said the plans have already been approved by the Manistique Planning and Zoning Commission and the Manistique City Council.

According to VanDyck, the city has not yet formally applied for the grant.

“We’re still in the process of gathering all the documents and submitting them to the MEDC to see if it’s a project that they would want to take on,” she said.

If the city receives a letter of intent from the MEDC, it would move forward with a formal grant application.

VanDyck said she believes the center has a chance of receiving grant funding from the MEDC for its proposed project.

“I feel pretty confident in it,” she said.

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