U.S. Rep. John James delivers a $1.5 million federal grant to Shelby Township officials April 24 to support an addition to the Shelby Township Activities Center.

U.S. Rep. John James delivers a $1.5 million federal grant to Shelby Township officials April 24 to support an addition to the Shelby Township Activities Center.

Photo provided by Shelby Township

James secures $1.5 million grant for Shelby Township Activities Center addition

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published May 21, 2024


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — U.S. Rep. John James returned home to Shelby Township April 24 with a very hefty grant that will go toward supporting upgrades to the Shelby Township Activities Center gymnasium.

James successfully secured $1.5 million in federal funds to enhance the Shelby Township Activities Center gymnasium.

“I’m back here in my home in Shelby Township with a refund check for our seniors and for our community of $1.5 million. This is a refund check precisely because this isn’t my money; this isn’t the federal government’s money. It’s your money, and we’re returning it right back home where you deserve to spend it right here on our health and our community. As a recent resident of Shelby Township and as your Representative, I’m so proud to be able to return your money back to Shelby Township,” he said, according to a Shelby Township press release.

The plan involves the construction of an 8,700-square-foot gymnasium, adding a walking track, expanded space for pickleball, and program and activity spaces.

“Our seniors deserve quality care and environments in which they can thrive. I’ll always work to improve conditions for our seniors and deliver for our communities,” James stated.

The Shelby Township Activities Center serves as the community’s senior center from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, the facility provides indoor recreation for the entire community.

With the federal grant and $600,000 from the township, the total cost of the project is $2.1 million.

The upgrades and federal grant have been in the works since last summer, when James communicated with the Shelby Township Senior Center leadership and pushed for including the $1.5 million in community project funding in U.S. House of Representatives appropriations bills.

“We are grateful to Representative James for his advocacy and dedication to improving the lives of our residents. These upgrades will undoubtedly enrich the experiences of our seniors and residents for years to come,” Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis said in the release.

Following a recommendation from Shelby Township Parks, Recreation and Maintenance Director Joe Youngblood, the township included preliminary plans for the expansion of the activities center as part of its capital improvement plan.

Youngblood said that since the day it opened in 2019, the Shelby Township Activities Center and Senior Center has helped seniors’ wellness and social well-being. Membership grows yearly, and the federal grant will help to continue to serve seniors and the community with first-rate amenities, he said.

Brad Bates, Shelby Township community relations director, said the township’s engineering team from AEW is actively engaged in the project’s design phase and will draft the request for proposal documents for the construction phase.

“Once these documents are finalized, we will proceed to publish the RFP. Subsequently, the Board of Trustees will review proposals from construction contractors, and upon approval, we would move forward with the contracting phase. This process will provide clarity regarding the construction start date. While specific timelines are contingent on various factors, preliminary estimates indicate that the project is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2025,” he said.