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New Bern Approved for More Than $7.5 Million to Rebuild Recreational Facility

Release Date Release Number

May 12, 2020

DR-4393-NC NR 209

Media Contact: 919-825-2514


News Release

New Bern Approved for More Than $7.5 Million to Rebuild Recreational Facility


DURHAM, N.C. – The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved more than $7.5 million to reimburse the City of New Bern to replace a recreational facility damaged during Hurricane Florence.

New Bern plans to rebuild the Stanley White Recreation Center after the 2018 hurricane destroyed it. The original facility included an indoor basketball court, fitness facilities and a kitchen.

“Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on Stanley White Recreation Center,” said City Manager Mark Stephens. “The facility was flooded with more than 2 feet of water during the storm.  That inundation of water also shifted the building causing structural issues. City of New Bern inspectors determined the building had been substantially damaged and that assessment was confirmed by FEMA when they came to tour the facility.” 

The city’s rebuilding strategy calls to elevate the l8,000 square foot facility at Henderson Park to reduce or eliminate flood damage.

“Stanley White Recreation Center has been a staple in the community for generations,” Stephens said. “It’s been a way for people of all ages to come together to exercise, to play, to learn, to get to know one another and to grow.

“We are incredibly thankful for this FEMA grant and for the hard work of Senator Thom Tillis and our staff. This money will help us not just rebuild a rec center, but rebuild a community after a devastating loss.”

FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work.

Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs and the remaining amount is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state to disburse to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs.

FEMA’s total share to rebuild the Stanley White Recreation Center is more than $5.6 million and the state’s share is more than $1.8 million. More than $50.7 million has been approved to the City of New Bern to reimburse Hurricane Florence-related expenses.

For more information on North Carolina’s recovery from Hurricane Florence, visit ncdps.gov/Florence and FEMA.gov/Disaster/4393. Follow us on Twitter: @NCEmergency and @FEMARegion4.


FEMA’s mission: Helping people before, during and after disasters.


Last updated May 12, 2020