Vicki Gardner, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Center, Inc. Board of Directors, announced today that the organization has raised approximately 70 percent of the funds needed to purchase the vacant Grand Home Furnishings building at Westlake Corner.
“We are extremely excited to be closing in on this goal so we can finalize the deal and begin programming at the facility,” Gardner said. “But we need the community’s financial support to get us through the home stretch.”
SML Center, Inc. is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit determined to acquire the 40,000-square-foot building and convert it into a multi-purpose center for education, arts, entertainment, private events, business, tourism and community hang-out spaces.
Gardner said the funding status reflects positive community response to the “Grand Plan.”
“This is the third attempt to create a community center at the lake, but the first that has a significant probability of happening,” Gardner said. “That’s because this plan involves purchasing an existing, well-suited building rather than starting from scratch on undeveloped land.”
Now the board is turning to the SML community for the last leg of purchase price funding, plus cash for Phase 1 improvements required for occupancy.
“We know that many who are enthusiastic about our ‘Grand Plan’ have been holding off on making their donations until there were signs the project could indeed come to fruition,” Gardner said. “Well, mark my words: We’re well on our way to owning a fantastic facility right in the heart of the SML community. What we need now—right now—is for everyone who can imagine the marvelous possibilities for a vibrant community center at the lake to come through with whatever financial support is within their means.”
SML Center Board members are eager to meet with individuals interested in naming rights and dedication opportunities, which start at $10,000.
“We still need several more large donors, but we also need anyone with a love for SML and a passion for education, arts and community growth to make their pledges and contributions, in any amount, right now, before it’s too late,” Gardner said.
More information and a secure online donation form can be found at SMLGrandPlan.com. Those interested in setting up an in-person or virtual meeting may contact Gardner at 540-529-7733 or [email protected]