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NARRAGANSETT â€“ A Narragansett family has donated $50,000 toward the Narragansett Community Athletic Complex and has promised an additional $50,000 if 500 Narragansett residents make a donation of $500 or more toward the project.
Through their donation, Narragansett residents Suzanne and Terry Murray are kicking off the Murray Family Challenge, asking residents to make a financial donation toward the NCAC.
â€śI think the town deserves any support it can get from its residents for a worthwhile cause, and why shouldnâ€™t the town of Narragansett have a first rate athletic complex?â€ť Terry Murray said Monday. â€śWe all love sports and watching Narragansett teams perform. They, and future generations, are entitled to a first rate facility, and as a resident I want to support any worthwhile cause at the local scene.â€ť
The proposed NCAC will include a modern athletic facility, complete with a new turf field for football, soccer and lacrosse and new lighting. The complex will also offer a 1,000-seat outdoor venue, a track, and a walking trail.
While Murrayâ€™s children are grown and his grandchildren donâ€™t live in the community, he is still a strong supporter of a new athletic complex for the town and its school system.
â€śI would think those who do and donâ€™t have kids, but live in Narragansett, could easily embrace this project for the well-being of the current and future kids and improve the quality of their facilities.â€ť
So far, nearly $500,000 has been raised toward the public fundraising goal of $650,000.
â€śItâ€™s outstanding,â€ť Dan Barry, NCAC campaign director, said Monday. â€śWeâ€™re kicking off the Murray Family Challenge and we still have eight months to go before weâ€™re finished so weâ€™re way ahead of schedule.â€ť
Barry said the total cost of the project is about $3.2 million, with portions of the money coming from the school committee and a public bond referendum, in addition to the public fundraising contribution.
Last December, the town council voted 4-1 to support the NCAC bond referendum resolution for an amount not to exceed $1.8 million. That bond referendum will go to a vote in the November 2014 election, leaving it up to voters to decide whether to approve a bond to pay for remaining NCAC costs.
Tammy McNeiece, NCAC campaign co-chair, has also applied for a $400,000 grant from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for the project.
â€śAs soon as the bond is passed in November, we can start the permitting process in town,â€ť Barry said. â€śThe first day after students have finished using the athletic fields, we will begin construction of the new facility, which will be ready for the start of football season in 2015.â€ť
Murray said itâ€™s important for residents to show their support of the community and Narragansett schools.
â€śThe spirit of this effort is broad resident participation,â€ť he said. â€śItâ€™s what the Murray Family Challenge is all about. We all have a vested interest in the well being of the town. We would like people to participate, even at a modest level just to show broad grassroots support for this project.â€ť
Murray and Barry said every contribution helps, and said that if 500 residents, including both summer and/or year-round residents, make a financial donation of $500 or more toward the NCAC, the Murray family will donate an additional $50,000. The donations can be paid out in a lump sum or in smaller payments over the course of up to five years. For example, donors could pay $100 every year for five years.
â€śWe want to get people on board to show support, so when it comes time to vote, it passes no problem,â€ť Barry said. â€śWe want to have families coming on board to this program and understanding what the challenge is and being a part of it.â€ť