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Civic Center officially Milner Recreation Center
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Doug Milner
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Construction continues on the newly christened Milner Recreation Center.
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Floor plans for Milner Recreation Complex

McMinnville Civic Center has been renamed Milner Recreation Center. 

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved that change on Tuesday night.

“I talked with Doug Milner about this and he was shocked that it was being considered,” said Mayor Ben Newman. “I told him that I do not speak for the whole board and the whole board would have to vote on it, but I couldn’t think of anyone better to name the building after. Doug Milner has given so much to our community through sports, sponsoring events, putting on the fireworks display for the Fourth of July for years and years. This is something that would be named after him for as long as it’s standing. Hopefully, it will be standing a very long time.”

Newman says “recreation center” better describes what is offered at the facility.

“I think the civic center is a place where you have your city hall or some type of civics going on. This building is used for recreation. It’s also used for photography classes and other uses. It’s used for lifting weights and working out. We’ve had craft fairs and basketball games, volleyball, tennis, pickleball, indoor soccer, archery. The list can go on and on about what we’ve had there, but most of it seems to be centered around recreation instead of just civics.”

The mayor did admit that it would take time for people to make that change in their vernacular, but that should not stop the city from recognizing the contributions of Milner to the community. 

“I don’t have a problem with recreation center, because I think that’s much more descriptive,” said Alderman Everett Bock. “I really would like for this to be the Milner family, rather than just Doug. His whole family has always… We don’t have to change anything. It can still be Milner, but his whole family has always … even before Doug took over, his mother and father were involved.”

Newman replied, “It’s not the Doug Milner Recreation Center. What I propose is the Milner Recreation Center, so it encompasses him and his family.” 

The definition of civic center was disputed.

“I’m all for naming it for the Milners. Absolutely,” said Alderman Steve Harvey. “I would prefer us still calling it a civic center. I looked up the definition (for civic center) – two different ones. Webster’s says a large public building for sporting events, concerts, etc. The Oxford, North American definition, is a municipal building or building complex often publically financed with space for conventions, sports events and theatrical entertainment.”

Harvey suggested leaving that portion of the name unchanged. “To me, it’s so much more than a rec center. I think it kind of fits the definition of a civic center. That’s what it was named originally. That’s what it’s always been called and that’s what people are always going to call it. So, I’m of the opinion that we should name it the Milner Civic Center.”

Harvey made an unsuccessful attempt to rename the facility the Milner Civic Center. 

A motion to rename McMinnville Civic Center to Milner Recreation Center passed 4-3. Newman, Brock and Aldermen Kate Alsbrook and Rachel Kirby voted in favor of Milner Recreation Center, while Harvey and Aldermen Mike Neal and Ryle Chastain voted against it and voiced a desire for Milner Civic Center. 

A sign for the building will be ordered.