City Gets State Grant for Schaefer Center Work

The city of Toccoa will receive money from a state agency to go towards work at the Schaefer Center.

Last week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced that the Georgia Department of Economic Development has awarded a $15,000 tourism product development grant to Toccoa.

Kembra Landry with Main Street Toccoa said the grant funds will help with work on the outside of the SchaeferCenter, located on the corner of Broad and Doyle streets in downtown Toccoa.

“The tourism product development grant will be used to help renovate and rehabilitate the SchaeferCenter’s front facade,” said Landry.  “We will be removing the brick and analyzing the stucco that is underneath.”

The grant requires a $15,000 match by the city, which Landry says Toccoa has already budgeted for in this fiscal year.

She said the city is excited to be able to use this money as a way to help further restore the Schaefer Center.

“We have heard from a lot of citizens in the community, people that have helped fund the Schaefer Center, and other stakeholders that the front marquis and facade are important to the restoration of the Schaefer Center,” said Landry.

Landry said work would not start yet, as the city has to select someone to do the work first.

According to Landry, additional funding would be needed later to repair the stucco, depending on its condition, and restore the marquis on the building.

The city has proposed using part of its SPLOST VI proceeds, if voters approve SPLOST VI this November, for renovation work at the Schaefer Center.

According to the grant announcement, the state’s Tourism Product Development Agreement program was designed to financially support tourism development activities that sustain and create jobs at the local level, and to support Georgia’s creative economies with an emphasis on local artists and the nonprofit arts industry.

The program awarded nearly $179,000 in grants to 13 entities across the state.

That is out of 81 applications totaling more than $1 million in requests.