Genesis Express plans intergenerational facility construction

By BY MARY GARRISON MINYARD mgarrison@cadizrecord.com

Genesis Express is looking to make big things happen for Trigg County residents.

The faith-based organization has introduced plans to construct an estimated $4 million intergenerational community center on Jefferson Street in Cadiz. The project, which organizers say will likely be completed in phases, features amenities such as a walking track, amphitheater and tutoring facilities.

Genesis Express member Bobby Acree said the group had been donated more than 3 acres of property to use for the project, and the intent was to not only provide services to residents of all ages in the community but also to reinvigorate the area along the west end of Jefferson Street.

"We've got 3.1 acres of land, there's many, many things we plan on doing in that facility," Acree said. "Our tutoring program right now is about to bust the walls open. Kids are growing and doing great, we've got great results from that, and we want to grow it more. There's lots of opportunities. â ¦ We want to show Trigg County and Cadiz that we do care. There are things here that can draw people in that they can use."

The organization has been working to prepare the land for use, having partnered with the county to clear debris and brush. Genesis Express has also been working with the Pennyrile Area Development District to refine plans and apply for grant funding to assist in construction efforts. The group has completed most paperwork to apply for three particular grants: A Community Development Block Grant, which would go toward facility construction; a recreational trail grant that could be used to construct the walking trail; and a land and water grant that could be used to build the amphitheater. However, to apply for the grants, a local government entity must assume the role of fiscal agent. Genesis Express members asked Cadiz City Council members last week to consider becoming that agent.

While the city had not yet taken action on the matter as of Tuesday, council members were expected to host a special called meeting to review documentation and approve the city's role as fiscal agent.

No specific dates had been set on the center's groundbreaking, but grant applications -- which have been complete with the exception of the group obtaining a government body to act as fiscal agent -- were set to be submitted later this month. It's an ambitious project and timeline, said Genesis Express President George Radford, but he felt it would fill a needed role in the community.

"We're more than likely going to have to build in phases," said Genesis Express President George Radford. "First phase we would really love to have the trail and amphitheater. As we progress, then we move into building the first phase, which would be the rooms, office and dining facilities. â ¦ We're going to have exercises going on, we will have classes during the day for adults. We already have people who want to sign up for their clubs and organizations to meet."

Genesis Express has been an active community organization since its inception in 1987. Among the organization's outreach efforts include a meal program to underprivileged residents, summer reading camps, holiday programs to provide food and gifts to residents in need and the annual Martin Luther King Jr. march and celebration. Programs come at no cost to those who use them, and funds are raised through various events, including barbecue sales.