By Donna Thornton/News Editor
Bethanne Browning-Staton is retrieving a piece of her family’s history and using it to bring one of the newest trends in family fun to Etowah County.
The Factory, set to open this spring, is a trampoline gym, but will offer much more to entertain its guests.
The facility will offer a trampoline arena, a trampoline dodge-ball court, trampoline basketball, foam pits, batting cages and a black light dance floor.
“We want to bring something different to Gadsden,” Staton said. The facility will be available for all kinds of parties, and for families who want come and jump or participate in any of the other forms of fun. She’s anxious to see it used for birthday parties, team parties, field trips, church groups and for corporate team building events.
“We plan on having teen nights,” Staton said. “We have club lights and an amazing sound system.”
The Factory also plans dodge-ball tournaments, Staton said. “Any group of six peope can organize a team and compete.” The first-place team gets free entrance to The Factory anytime they want, Staton said, until someone knocks them out of first place.
The Factory is located at 100 Thomas Drive, just off Ala. 77 in Gadsden. The building was constructed by Jim Browning – Staton’s grandfather.
“This building was dreamed up in my head and drawn out on paper,” Jim Browning said. “I built it myself and know every block in it.” He operated Associate Tool there in the late 1980s.
When he retired, the building and business were sold. Jim Browning’s son Dan had worked with his father all his life and learned the metal fabrication business. He started his own business, Browning Enterprise, in Attalla.
The building his father built had been empty for several years before it was sold at auction last year. The buyer was Dan Browning, and he and daughter Bethanne Browning-Staton started dreaming up what to do with it.
“We’ve been thinking for a while about bringing something to Gadsden for people to do,” Dan Browning said. “When I went to a trampoline park for the first time I knew we needed this here.
“This is going to be really fun,” he said.
“Nothing makes me happier than seeing it back in our family after all these years, and being used for such a good cause,” Jim Browning said.
And that was that – other than a tremendous reworking of the structure.
“We started gutting the building and remodeling it in November,” Staton said.
That work continues now, with plans to open in the spring.