The National Youth Administration constructed a community center built of native limestone rock quarried near Belton in 1941. The structure was a rustic design, in Yettie Polk Park, located near the old club house. The work began in summer of 1941. The project, approved by the President in September, was projected to cost $28,000. NYA furnished $22,000 for labor and the local sponsor provided $6,000 for materials, tools and equipment. Excavation for foundation was completed in October and the concrete pouring began in late October. By November, the foundation had been completed, quarrying was in progress at the old limestone quarry near Belton, and rock hauling had begun with rock work scheduled to begin. The foundation was five-feet to “insure the durability and service of the building” (Foundation for Community Center, Nov. 13, 1941, p. 1). R. M. Hicks was the area supervisor. The building was used as a USO club during World War II and resumed use as a community center after the war. The building was leased from the city by the Lions Club for use as a Teenage Canteen during the 1960s. In 1971, the building was renovated for a police station and city court. The renovation added cedar slabs outside southern exposure windows and replaced wooden folding doors with glass on the east exposure. Street views on maps show the building in good repair and maintaining most of the original stonework. It is unknown if the building is marked, however, a plaque on the bridge from Davis Street over the creek credits the bridge, others in the park, and the pavilion as constructed by the NYA 1938-1939.
Work to Begin June 1 on Community Center. (May 15, 1941). Belton Journal and Bell County Democrat, p. 1.
Belton Plans Local Center. (May 19, 1941). The Austin American, p. 10.
Community Center Plans in Final Stage. (June 19, 1941). Belton Journal and Bell County Democrat, p. 5.
Work to Start on Community Center Soon. (Sept. 9, 1941). The Austin American, p. 6.
Work on Community Center Moves Forward. (Oct 16, 1941). Belton Journal and Bell County Democrat, p. 1.
Foundation for Community Center has Been Completed. (Nov. 13, 1941). Belton Journal and Bell County Democrat, p. 1.
Belton Community Center Foundation Completed. (Nov. 14, 1941). The Austin American, p. 3.
City Changes Parking, Plans New Police Station. (Dec. 10, 1970). Belton Journal and Bell County Democrat, p. 1.
City Adds Ass’t Attorney, Studies Police Building. (Jan 14, 1971). Belton Journal and Bell County Democrat, p. 1.
Police Building Completed, Grounds are Next. (Aug 19, 1971). Belton Journal, p. 1.
Kelsey, N., & Parsons, G. (September 2020). Notes on Yettie Polk Park, Belton, Texas. Retrieved October 17, 2021 from https://www.bellcountytx.com/about_us/county_historical_commission/docs/YETTIE%20POLK%20PARK.pdf
Project originally submitted by Susan Allen on October 17, 2021.
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