By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
On Tuesday, February 14, City of Gadsden officials broke ground on the new East Gadsden Community Center.
The plans for the $5.5 million dollar center were approved late last year. The new facility is already underway, as winter weather caused the groundbreaking to be postponed. The new facility is being built directly behind the current facility. The first step in the project was to fill in the unused pool that had been located behind the center. After the new facility is built, the current facility will be torn down, and additional parking will be added.
The new facility will include gathering space, multi-use rooms, a basketball court, a walking track, an exercise room and a kitchen.
Shane Ellison, assistant to Gadsden Mayor Sherman Guyton, said that the East Gadsden Community Center is the oldest and the most used community center in Gadsden, which is why the city of Gadsden decided to update the facility.
“We at the mayor’s office are excited about it,”said Ellison. “It’s a good project for the city and a good project for this community.”
The groundbreaking started with a prayer by Reverand Harold Kimble followed by Epiphany Cherry performing “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”
Gadsden City Council members were joined by Ellison, the city engineer Heath Williamson, Steven Vaughn of Steven Vaughn Construction and Teressa Streeter of KHAFRA Engineering Consultants to ceremoniosly break ground on the new facility.
The facility is scheduled to be completed in nine months, although the weather may influence whether the contractors can stay on schedule.
The new community center is one of several projects the City of Gadsden is currently working on. Renovations are underway on the Kiwanis Pavillion at Noccalula Falls. The city has also been working on transforming the former K-Mart building on George Wallace Drive in Gadsden into a new Convention Hall, to provide a larger and updated facility, which officials hope will bring more events and conferences to the area.