Members of Project Deport’s leadership board discussed location alternatives to the Hale-Glover Community Center on Monday night, referring to the building’s damaged condition and insufficient space for events.
“My suggestion is to keep this building until we can get a piece of land and build something on there,” board member Julia Grossmann said. “Keep our lease, use it until we can get a piece of land.”
Board member Jerome Chapman was skeptical.
“Good luck with that, that’s going to be hard to get and hard to pay for,” he said. “We have no money, and there’s no one in this town that’s going to donate much.”
Board member Crystal Folse said she recommended renting a storage place and rotating locations for events, using local facilities from the fire department to different churches.
“We could do like a traveling meeting so that all the facilities in Deport get used, and I’d like to build our relationships,” Folse said.
As previously reported by The Paris News, the community center has severe interior water damage due to the flat roof construction and various internal leaks. Part of the north wall is falling in and mildew is developing on the bottom, and one of the back corners of the building is caving in, with bricks coming loose. The building also has termite damage.
Based on a local inspector’s assessment, Folse estimates repairs could easily cost $40,000.
The City of Deport has leased the building to Project Deport annually, and Folse previously said the city “has not paid one dime on that building except for water.”
“Everything in the building has always been paid for by Project Deport,” she said previously. “And I am not going to throw money into a building if we don’t know if we can stay there or not.”
The board on Monday also discussed improvements for next year’s Fourth of July celebration. Board members agreed they would like to begin the event later in the evening and have a live band performing.
The board also mentioned upcoming events, such as the First Methodist Church’s fish fry Sept. 21, and bingo night Sept. 28.