Fuquay-Varina Gym Closed For Safety Reasons
Posted January 5, 2005 4:53 a.m. EST
FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. — Council Gym is closed until further notice for safety reasons. Parents understand why the Fuquay-Varina building is off-limits, but believe the whole thing could have been prevented.
It may just be a building, but parents say it is much more to the 1,000 children who participate in the Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association.
"It's huge for them to want to play basketball in this town," parent and volunteer coach Mark Beverley said.
On Tuesday, locks and signs abruptly appeared on the doors of Council Gym. An engineering report found extensive termite damage and a deteriorating floor. Fuquay Varina closed its own building down for safety reasons.
"It's just like an old car. You've got to make repairs every year. You've got to keep it up," Beverley said.
Parents believe if the town just invested in the 60-year-old building over time, the problems never would have happened. Now, the Athletic Association and the town are scrambling to find places for the nonprofit league to practice and play.
Mayor John Byrne played basketball at Council Gym back in the 1960s. He said the town does take some responsibility for what happened.
"We'll hold people accountable if they haven't done a good job. We need to protect our assets. It's important to this community," he said.
Byrne said what is important now is saving the season, which is just two weeks old. For a few days, the league will play across the street at Fuquay Middle School. The town will pay the cost of renting other facilities if they are available.
"I'm hopeful we can get the season in. It's probably a 50/50 chance we can get it in," said Gary Elmore, board member for the Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association.
The Fuquay-Varina Athletic Association will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday to go over its options. The town has $800,000 set aside for a new $3 million community center.
Leaders are pursuing grants and hope to start construction late this year. In the meantime, the mayor said they will have a study done on how much it will cost to fix the building.