"We're changing all of this. All of this is going to be changed," said interim executive director Ken Hinton.
Hinton sees a bright future for the facility, but he needs money to get there. Soon, the closed facility could get nearly $1.5 million in Southtown tax increment funds, if the city approves. That's cash the center could use, according to Hinton.
"Really we would not be able to open and operate in the sense that we would not have the funds to do the repair work," he said.
Hinton anticipates renovations for the center to cost roughly $3 million. The Southtown TIF could provide half of that amount.
"All of these walls are going to be taken down, painted, elevator repaired," Hinton said while pointing to areas that will turn into classrooms.
With the money, the center would fix floors, walls and the building's exterior. Carver's basketball gym needs repairs also. Hinton says the changes must be made in order to meet a hopeful summer 2013 reopening.
"I would like to make this into a game room, where kids come and play video games and so on," said Hinton.
He thinks donations would cover the rest of expenses. But he needs to get the ball rolling.
"It was great before, but we can make it even better than it was then. We hope the city council and the community support us for this because great and wonderful things are being planned for Carver."
The city will vote on the Southtown TIF proposal next Tuesday. Also, the Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity could get more than $800,000.
$300,000 could go to the Peoria Park District. Crittenton Centers and Ward Chapel would also receive money, if the city approves.