VANDALIA — There may be no individual more significant in the development and building of the Vandalia Recreation Center than former City Manager Bruce Sucher.
On April 19, the Rec Center, as it is widely known, will be renamed to honor Sucher and his 30-plus years of service to the Vandalia-Butler community. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.
“It’s an honor that’s very appropriate,” said Steve Clark, Vandalia’s Director of Parks and Recreation. “Bruce played such a strong role in selling the vision for this center and then seeing the project through. There’s truthfully no one more deserving.”
Sucher, who died unexpectedly last March, served in various capacities including police officer, Assistant City Manager, Deputy Police Chief, Acting City Manager, and City Manager from 1988-2004. He was then elected to the Vandalia-Butler Board of Education in 2013 and served as Board President at the time of his death.
One of Sucher’s crowning achievements was the 2001 opening of the Vandalia Recreation Center, an amenity Sucher believed was important for Vandalia residents of all ages.
Larry Taylor, co-owner of Beau Townsend Ford, sent a letter asking that City Council consider the renaming.
In an interview shortly after his death, Taylor said Sucher was instrumental in seeing the projects to completion.
“I don’t believe we would have a Recreation Center if it wasn’t for Bruce,” said Taylor.
An Ad Hoc Committee appointed by Mayor Arlene Setzer unanimously recommended the renaming and council formally approved the move in June.
Plans call for the installation of a plaque in the front lobby of the center, and the monument sign in front of the center will also be changed to reflect the new name.
The renaming of the Recreation Center is just the latest honor bestowed on Sucher. In February, he was named the 33rd recipient of the Marvin Link Distinguished Service Award.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.