Town seeking grant for work at gymnasium

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 28, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. – Town officials will soon apply for a Rural Development grant to renovate the former Florida Street Gym building for use as a recreational and educational center.

About $23,000 of the $25,000 grant would be used to renovate the building, which the town is leasing from the Concordia Parish School District. The rest of the grant — which Mayor Glen McGlothin said the town will apply for as soon as possible — will help fund the Concordia Council on Aging’s Meals on Wheels program.

Funds would be used to revamp the 61-year-old building’s electrical system, remove asbestos, repair the floor and ceiling, and make the building accessible to disabled people.

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Other needed changes include a new heating and cooling system, lighting and renovation of restrooms and meeting rooms. Once that is done, the Ferriday-based Boys and Girls Club of the Delta can move into the building, now that the Town of Ferriday and the club have signed a cooperative agreement, McGlothin said.

&uot;That’s pending on the town bringing the building up to code, but the mayor is pursuing that grant, … and it’s pretty much sure they’ll have the funding to do the necessary improvements,&uot;&160;said club Director Kevin Bridgewater.

The club is now located in the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office substation on Doty Road just outside Ferriday, but shares that space with other programs.

Programs the club could provide in a more permanent location include tutoring, basketball and counseling for youth, Bridgewater said. The club also owns 30 computers it could locate at the center. The town can only allow such groups to use space in the building, not lease it out to them, because the town is only leasing the building itself.