In the Spotlight

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Occasional Blog Posts by the Town of Garner



rec center site clearing sept16

The Town of Garner has entered the construction phase of our much-anticipated new recreation center. The approximately 40,000-square-foot facility is being built on the corner of Main and Montague streets in downtown Garner (with an accompanying stormwater device being built at U.S. 70 and Montague). The facility is expected to open in late 2017. The center, made possible in part by voter-approved parks and recreational bonds, will provide a hub for health and activity in downtown Garner.

The building will feature three gymnasiums with high-school regulation-size basketball courts that also can be used for volleyball and other activities. The courts will have wooden floors and bleacher seating to accommodate several hundred people. The three gyms will be divided to allow different activities in each area.

On the second floor, accessible by stairway or elevator in the lobby, will be an elevated walking track that is open to and encircles all three gymnasiums. At one-ninth of a mile in length, the track will be longer than most indoor walking tracks found in recreation centers.

The center will have a large multipurpose room and group fitness classroom. Off the multipurpose room will be a small warming kitchen for summer camp and rental use. There will also be a large arts and crafts classroom as well as two sets of restrooms including shower facilities.

Although specific programs at the recreation center have not been determined, many new and expanded activities are being considered, including the following:

  • expansion of the Town’s popular basketball and volleyball leagues
  • daytime programs for all ages, including walking opportunities on the long track
  • after-school programming and more specialty programs made possible by the ample space in the facility
  • growth of the Town’s summer camp program, which will benefit from the new facility as far as number of children that can be accommodated and increased variety of activities
  • additional adult fitness and exercise classes to relieve some of the pressure at the Garner Senior Center
  • the possibility of new leagues for youth and adults as well as athletic camps

The facility’s design will complement the existing buildings in Garner’s historic district. The site’s topography lends itself to creating a two-story Main Street façade and a taller, more dramatic entry as visitors approach from Montague Street off of U.S. 70. Outside amenities will include a walking trail, an open play field and ample parking.

Check out this really cool animated rendering of what the recreation center will look like.

Until the new recreation center is completed, Garner’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department will continue to offer a multitude of recreational leagues and programs for the community at Avery Street Recreation Center (125 Avery St.) and the Garner Senior Center (205 E. Garner Road).

You can follow Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources on Facebook and Twitter.

-Rick Mercier, communications manager,
and Rob Smith, assistant director, PRCR



We have some amazing news! Our beloved G Squad from the Garner Senior Center has been asked to perform at the Taipei Arena in Taiwan in October. The group has to pay for a couple of nights stay at a hotel and is responsible for airfare. They've set up a Go Fund Me account to help offset costs:

They are also raffling off a lovely afghan to help pay for their trip. Tickets are available from any G Squad member or by contacting Maureen at or at (989) 430-2183. 

Here's a video about the G Squad and their upcoming trip:

—Rick Mercier, communications manager




Our own Rob Smith, assistant director of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, is one of the finest photographers in this area. Just take a look at some of his outstanding photos from our July 3rd Celebration on Sunday. He has documented our special events and PRCR programming for several years, and what he has recorded helps us to tell Garner's story.

Each summer, Rob teaches a digital photography camp. He still has some room left in this year's camp, which runs Monday, July 18 to Friday, July 22. If you're interested in registering for the camp, you can go to You can also reach Sara Shaw at (919) 662-5051 for more information.

--Rick Mercier, communications manager




If you've made it to this page, you probably realize that the Town of Garner has launched a new website. It was a big endeavor and involved copious amounts of teamwork from staff and an award-winning company that specializes in building and hosting local government websites.

As you can tell, you can still find the site at; that won't change. What has changed is the look and layout of our homepage and the "interior" pages. We hope you'll agree that the new homepage makes a nice first impression and serves as a strong marketing and branding tool for our All-America City.

We also hope you'll agree that the new homepage has a cleaner design and is more focused on putting services out front. The colorful swoosh buttons on the homepage enable you to go right to Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources and its programming software, to signups to receive news and information directly from the Town and to our online tool (garner info) for enabling citizens to submit service requests.

You'll also notice that one of the swoosh buttons is for Development Services. That's the umbrella category for Planning, Inspections, Engineering and Economic Development (including downtown revitalization).

In addition, Police Services are one click away on the homepage when you click on that menu on the main navigation bar at the top of the homepage. Same goes for our Jobs Center (click Careers).

The new homepage also allows us to do a better job of highlighting the information, events and initiatives that are of the most interest to you and of the most importance to the Town and its future.

Finally, there is this new feature that we call In the Spotlight. It will serve as a blog that various staff will use to focus on interesting and important matters. We hope to do it in an engaging manner, not relying exclusively on the written word but also sometimes employing video to give you a better sense of what's happening in your hometown. (If you click on the E-notifications swoosh button, you can sign up to receive these blog posts.)

As with all new, big, sprawling websites with a number of dynamic and interactive features, we expect some glitches at first. We ask for your patience in the first few days and weeks and encourage you to provide feedback. Please feel free to email me at with comments and suggestions.

Thanks, and welcome to the new

--Rick Mercier, communications manager 


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