The Saltillo Board of Alderman approved a real estate donation from North Mississippi Medical Center on Tuesday night. Now the former R.B. Robinson clinic downtown can eventually be used as a community facility.
To formally receive the property, the city must either name the community center after Dr. R.B. Robinson, who operated the family medicine practice, or place a plaque on the building honoring him.
The only concern for aldermen at this point is how to pay the building's utilities.
Dianne Ludt, who headed the effort along with Alderwoman Jewell Webb, discussed many community service and fundraising ideas with the board. She said she intends to apply for several community and art grants in the coming months. Until the grants come in, she said they will rely on community support and the city to help foot the roughly $400-per-month utility bill.
"I think it's a great opportunity for music, arts and drama in Saltillo and for students to be able to be exposed to the arts without having to travel to Tupelo," Ludt said.
Ludt proposed hosting inexpensive workshops in the arts as a way to raise money.
"We could do a lot of workshops and mini-camps that we could bring in money with by charging a minimal fee," she said. "If you have a workshop and charge $20 a day for art or creative writing and have a good turnout, you can bring in a profit."
She also has plans for a career and education resource room, community health room, family resource room and historical room within the center.
Ludt said North Mississippi Medical Center also has offered to donate computers as they upgrade their own.