Garland Hayward Youth Center
From Dream to Reality. ...Dirt to Pavement by Garland R. Hayward, Sr.

Today we celebrate history. This is the first time that the Town of Princess Anne and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore have ventured into a joint project of this magnitude. We also celebrate the first youth center ever to be constructed in the Town of Princess Anne, and lastly we celebrate the man for whom the building is named, Mr. Garland R. Hayward, Sr.

Dr. Joseph Arumala approached Commissioner Garland Hayward, Sr. advising him of a $340,000 grant that bad been awarded to the University from the Department of Housing & Urban Development’s (HUD) Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Program and questioned the best way these funds could benefit the Town of Princess Anne. The Town had also been awarded a $130,000 grant from Program Open Space of the Department of Natural Resources. It had always been Commissioner Hayward’s dream for the Town of Princess Anne to build a recreation center for the youth; however, the resources were never there. Commissioner Hayward anxiously approached the other Commissioners with the idea that these funds would best suit the town by building an outdoor athletic center for the Town.

During this time, The Princess Anne Police Department (PAPD) had expressed concerns that an old abandoned clam factory in the area then known as Dog-town on Hampden Avenue was being used by local youth in the area as a hangout. This area was also tagged a "hotspot," by the PAPD. After securing the land from its owner, The Princess Anne Athletic Center Project began. Staff and student members from the UMES Construction Management Department, headed by Dr. Arumala were now ready to begin construction of the outdoor athletic center. Funding for the initial project was to include the demolition of the old factory, and construction of a soccer/football field, two basketball courts, a tennis court and a service road. However, the Town also secured a $509,000 grant from the Department of Juvenile Services. These funds were allotted for the construction of a 4800 square foot Youth Center building. Thus, the dream of an indoor Youth recreation center for The Town of Princess Anne was now a reality. Subsequently, the Town was also awarded an operating grant in excess of $48,000 for three years through a joint effort from the Local Management Board and the Somerset County Department of Juvenile Services.

The Garland Hayward, Sr. Youth Center (GHYC) is a 4800 square-foot building, which houses a 3600 square foot multi-purpose room, a computer lab with 12 stations, offices, a mini-kitchen and restrooms. The Center offers an after-school program and community outreach. The park area contains two separate playgrounds. The outdoor athletic area offers a soccer/football field, one tennis court and two basketball courts. It is only befitting that the Garland Hayward, Sr. Youth Center is located in the same neighborhood where the first unofficial GHYC was located. When Garland and his family lived at 30781 Antioch Avenue, his yard consisted of a dirt basketball court and 25' x 50' storage shed that was home to the Kenpo Karate Club. It was not rare to see a yard full of young boys playing basketball on the dirt court. Ironically, some of the same children that played on the dirt court now have children that can play on the paved court.

Today, we celebrate a new merger with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the Town of Princess Anne. The possibilities of partnering are relentless. We celebrate outreach to the community. The Center will provide services to the youth of the area which were never before available. Finally, we celebrate Commissioner Garland R. Hayward, Sr., whose dream for the Town of Princess Anne is now a reality.