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Supervisors approve YAC to apply for grants for new multi-purpose building

The near year-long construction project for the Lafayette County Business Complex and Arena is almost complete, and plans for what events and programs will be held in the new space has already begun. 

The county Board of Supervisors approved a request from the Arena Advisory Committee to authorize Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (YAC) to apply for grants for the multi-purpose buildings. The request was granted during the board’s monthly meeting held on March 4. YAC is part of a partnership with the county’s extension office. 

“We see an opportunity to encourage the community to explore all quality of life opportunities and educational programs,” YAC executive director Wayne Andrews said. “Families seeking cooking, gardening and outdoor events also want cultural events.” 

The business complex and arena, which has been a five-year long project for the county, was to be completed this month, but weather delays have pushed the completion date to sometime next month. The complex is sitting on 50 of 160 acres at County Road 406 that the county owns with the remaining land leased to Lafayette County School District for the construction of its new elementary school. 

Including YAC in their plans for the complex is due to the committee’s goal of getting the most use out of the space and to introduce community members to all programs and resources offered through committee partners. The arena will have multiple spaces and the ability for outdoor programming, which YAC plans to develop. 

The process of applying for grants is in its early stages and some grants have already been identified. Before any applications are sent off, YAC is learning about the programs planned for the space so they can utilize their skills as grant writers. 

“We are looking at a range of grants that support educational programs currently offered through the extension office and support activities the arena was designed for such as horse events, animal shows and recreational opportunities for citizens,” Andrews said. “I appreciate the county viewing this as an opportunity to bring together partners to create a sustainable space that enhances resources for Lafayette County residents while challenging partners such as YAC to explore opportunities to present more programs in the county.”