Hale Glover Community Center Deport

The Hale-Glover Community Center in Deport faces a hefty cost for repairs.

DEPORT — Project Deport is facing an intensive repair project at the Hale Glover Community Center due to water damage, with repairs potentially costing the organization $40,000.

Project Deport board member Crystal Folse said the building 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. Folse said other leaks are harder to locate, like the one above the bathroom, but the water is taking its toll on the walls and ceiling.

Project Deport repaired the building in January and resealed screws in the metal roof to prevent leaks. But Folse said the organization was unable to address all of the damage, and despite a local inspector’s assessment, she said recent heavy storms have worsened the situation.

“I don’t know if we can afford the repairs,” she said. “We didn’t realize the city had insurance on it (the building), and it took them a long time to get the adjuster to come out and look. And he said it’s from wear and tear and not from any of the storms. But it wasn’t leaking like that, as bad as it is, back in October.”

The Project Deport board is weighing its options. Repairs would include internal restoration and a new slanted roof with metal awning that Folse said she wants to extend over existing concrete. According to a city memo, the repairs would cost around $40,000. But Folse said she is also considering proposing a joint project with the library and the fire department to build a new center with a storm shelter that all three organizations could use, either in the existing space or close to the fire department.

“That’s one of the things I’m looking into, if I can find a grant for it — which I think there’s one out there, and if I can get everybody on board to work together,” she said. “I’m all for working together, us coming together to grow, because you have to build your city. And the kids are our future, and we need something to teach them with.”

Project Deport will discuss the project and potential move at its August monthly meeting.

The Hale Glover Community Center was donated to the city by Dr. Hale Glover, who had his former clinic in the space, in the early 2000s. The city has leased the building to Project Deport annually, and Folse 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. “And I am not going to throw money into a building if we don’t know if we can stay there or not.”

Folse said the goal is to create a place where the community can come together for meetings

and events.

“It’s nice to have something that’s the community center,” she said. “I love watching the kids’ faces and the parents at these events. I think it’s something that they need. You need that, and it’s good to have those things.”

Macon Atkinson is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6963 or macon.atkinson@theparisnews.com.

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