Tifton receives grant money for a new youth development center on the south side.

Mayor Julie Smith led a roundtable on the recent series of violent deaths of Tifton children.

TIFTON – The city has been awarded a $750,000 grant that will directly benefit South Tifton with a new youth development center. 

The youth development center will be in the Matt Wilson Elementary School neighborhood. The center will be adjacent to the school, said Lindsay Ray from the Southern Georgia Regional Commission. 

The construction of the building has to be done within a two-year timeframe from the grant cycle. Pete Pryzenksi, Tifton city manager, urged the project be completed before the end of the two-year period. 

"We want to be on the fastest most even time schedule that we can be on," Bruce Greene said, interim director of the urban redevelopment board. "We will expedite this." 

Tift County School Board donated the property for the youth development center. Southern Regional Technical College and the Tiftarea YMCA have said they will donate furnishings, Ray said. 

The YMCA will run a summer feeding program during the summer months at the development center and an after-school program during the school year. 

Adult literacy classes will be offered at the youth development center and the center will benefit 225 low- to moderate-income children and 25 low- to moderate-income adults, Ray said. 

In addition to the $750,000 grant, Ray said the City of Tifton is putting $100,000 toward the construction of the youth development center. 

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