Community meeting

The MNS Alumni Association holds a community meeting at the MNS Community Center

The Mary N. Smith Alumni Association and the Cultural Enrichment Center (PMT) Project Management Team hosted a community meeting, with approximately 80 residents and local and state officials in attendance, on July 21, 2022, to discuss plans of a community development granted on a contingent basis urban planning grant.

Representatives of some of the center’s occupants, including the Savage Elite Hoops Academy, the Boys and Girls Club of Southeastern Virginia-Eastern Shore Club, the C&E Technology Lab, and members of the Alumni Association, conducted tours of the center.

Attendees heard a presentation that provided a historical perspective of Mary N. Smith School and the Center’s recent accomplishments. The majority of the meeting focused on the results of the 2021-2022 online survey, the priorities of the survey and the Alumni Association Board, and the criteria for the planning grant awarded from conditionally. Participants were encouraged to share their ideas and needs for the Centre’s 52,000 square feet and 15 acres. Comments included: multi-generational spaces and activities for youth, seniors and families, spaces and events for entertainment, cultural and educational classes, and housing opportunities especially for first grade teachers.

The next steps are to respond to contingencies to receive the $50,000 planning grant, to continue the formation and expansion of the PMT, and to obtain a request for proposal for architectural and engineering studies that will allow the PMT to move forward with applying for a community improvement grant to execute the plans.