LCRA awards $20,878 grant to Coleman County Youth Activity Center

Center will replace outdated lighting, heating/AC system

May 4, 2022

An LCRA representative presents a $20,878 grant to the Coleman County Youth Activity Center for a new heating/AC system and lighting. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Joan Ethridge, Coleman County Youth Activity Center board treasurer; Sherman Smith, board vice president; Sarah Beal, board secretary; Larry Robinson, board president; and Cooper Hogg, LCRA Regional Affairs representative.

COLEMAN, Texas – The Coleman County Youth Activity Center will soon upgrade its HVAC system and install energy-efficient lighting at the Bill Franklin Community Center, thanks to a $20,878 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority. In addition to the Community Development Partnership Program grant, the center is contributing $5,225 in matching funds to update malfunctioning and non-operational lighting and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The facility is available for youth-oriented activities at no charge and can be rented for special events by residents of Coleman and the surrounding areas. During emergencies, the center is available as a community shelter and hub for emergency operations. “The HVAC unit is somewhere around 19 years old,” said Larry Robinson, president of the Coleman County Youth Activity Center’s board. “So, this money will be going to update the unit and then also make it more efficient than what it is now, which should enhance the facility.” Additionally, the new LED lights will reduce electrical costs and provide brighter lighting during activities such as wedding receptions, family reunions and the annual Aggie Muster. “The lighting that’s in there now is the old-style fluorescent lighting, and we’re having issues with the bulbs that are going out, and some of the bulbs are not manufactured anymore,” Robinson said. During Winter Storm Uri, the building served as a warming center and shelter, and families could use the facility’s kitchen to prepare meals. “The city of Coleman was able to use it for a command station because they were without electricity at city hall, so it played many different roles during that time,” Robinson said. “It would be available any time it’s needed for any situation like that.” The existing HVAC and lighting struggled to keep up with the heavy use during the storm and in the months since, so the board prioritized improvements to the systems. “With any facility like this, there’s maintenance,” Robinson said. “It goes on constantly, every week, every month. We’re very appreciative to LCRA for presenting this grant to us. Without this grant, we wouldn’t be doing these updates.” The community grant is one of 36 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Clara Tuma
[email protected]