Historic gym needs community support - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Historic gym needs community support

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BERRIEN COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

A historic gym in Alapaha is celebrating its 75th birthday, but there isn't a lot to celebrate right now.The building has served as a community center for generations, but it needs a facelift and the city doesn't have the money.

The gym holds generations of history, but those special moments are in danger of being erased forever!

"There is a spot where the tile has fell out and you can tell a lot of water has fallen through that spot," said Councilman Phillip Hoffman.

Hoffman recalls many of the events the gym has hosted over the years.

"We've used it not only for a gym, we've used it for beauty pageants, we've used it for talent shows, we've used it for religious services, it's all purpose," said Hoffman

The gym was funded by FDR'S New Deal initiative back in the late 1930's to help stimulate the economy and provide an outlet for people during the Great Depression. But age is catching up with the landmark now. 

"It's just an ongoing problem; we've had to patch the roof probably ten times in the last eight or nine years," said Hoffman.

The building needs a $30,000 roof repair.  The city has come up with half of that price. Leaders hope citizens will donate the rest. Anthony Powell used to hang out in the gym growing up.  He wants to see the building saved.

"It would to the point that you think about all the hands craft, that the people into this gym, and there some of the elderly people that still living now that they know some of the people, the fathers or mothers that helped build this gym," said Powell.

Councilman Hoffman and many other people in Alapaha want the gym fixed up.

"I'm hoping to restore this gym to as good of condition as we possibly can get it and I hope it will continue to be used for the betterment of our community and as a community center, that will be my hope," said Hoffman.

He shut the doors on Friday, hoping to find a way to keep the historic building open.

If you would like to donate to the cause please send all contributions to address below.

Gym Roof P.O. Box 45 Alapaha, GA 31622

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