Monticello Ongoing Revitalization Effort
As a partner with the Harrison County Family Resource Network (HCFRN) in the Monticello Ongoing Revitalization Effort (M.O.R.E.), MVB Bank has been involved in the effort since its early stages. Our CEO Larry Mazza, who grew up in the area, encouraged Harrison County Family Resource Network Executive Director Elizabeth Shahan and M.O.R.E. Planning Committee President Mateen “Tuna” Abdul-Aziz to “think bigger”! There is a renaissance happening in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and MVB is glad to be part of that movement, helping to make a real difference.
Thanks to the Harrison County Board of Education’s donation of the former Kelly Miller High School to the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival, the school will become the Kelly Miller Community Center. In September 2017, the first phase of the Kelly Miller Community Center project kicked off with the demolition of the extra interior walls and shelving in the gymnasium area that were built when the space was used for offices. Volunteers, including members of Team MVB, have donated hundreds of hours to the project.
The vision is that the Kelly Miller Community Center will house gym space for the community, locker rooms, a recreation center, a kitchen, a lounge area, classrooms, a heritage museum and space for tenants on the two top floors. Future programming being planned for the center includes: Project P2OWER (Promoting Positive Outcomes with Empowerment & Resiliency), a mentoring program for at-risk youth; low-cost community fitness classes; and life skills education courses.
M.O.R.E. is a community-led effort in the City of Clarksburg focusing on imagining and creating public spaces for community connections; enhancing the visual appeal of the Monticello Avenue neighborhood; encouraging residents to dream bigger for the neighborhood and their own lives; and contributing to the reduction of drug-related activity in the neighborhood.
The neighborhood is defined as Main Street from South 2nd Street to Clay Street including all side streets on the south side of Main (including, but not limited to, Washington Avenue, Ben Street, Virginia Avenue and E.B. Saunders Way) to near the intersection of Haymond Highway and Monticello Avenue near the Elk Creek.
M.O.R.E. partners are the City of Clarksburg, FRN of Harrison County, the West Virginia Black Heritage Festival, Waste Management, the Harrison County Board of Education, the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center, United Way of Harrison County, the Clarksburg-Harrison Regional Housing Authority, MVB Bank, Mountain Opportunities Corporation and Try This West Virginia.
Follow M.O.R.E. on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wvmore/
This Community Center is really about helping our kids. How can we help the next generation? If you don’t give kids an outlet to do something positive, then it’s going to turn into something negative. We have to do our part as adult citizens to provide for the kids.
–Mateen “Tuna” Abdul-Aziz, local resident and President of the M.O.R.E. Planning Committee
We’re hopeful that the community will get behind us, and we’ll be able to restore the building to what it used to be – a center for opportunity.
–Jim Griffin, M.O.R.E. Planning Committee member and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the WV Black Heritage Festival