Friday, March 30, 2012

Community Building deserves our attention

Well the women’s show is over and considering it was our first year, things went fairly smoothly. Hopefully we can tweak things and have an even better show next year.
While cleaning up the community building from the show, I was shooting baskets with wads of paper into the trash can. After sinking a particularly long shot, my arms shot straight up in the air and a deep-throated “Yes!” shot out of my mouth. I looked around to see if anyone had seen my moment of triumph but the only onlookers were the faces of the Refiners from the photos we’ve put up in the balcony.
I had to laugh at the thought of the Refiners cheering me on. The Community Building saw more than its fair share of amazing basketball courtesy of Coach Johnson and his helter-skelter players.
The Community Building has seen quite a few amazing things over the years – games, musicals, pancake feeds, trick-or-treaters, school dances. I didn’t grow up here and as I’m sometimes reminded I’m not a true “McPhersonite” but I imagine the Community Building is the backdrop for many a happy childhood memory.
There’s been talk off and on the last several years about what to do with this aging building. I, of course, have ideas but in the interest of staying employed, have kept them to myself lately. Now there’s talk of renovating the building again and since I got to sit in on a meeting I’m going to go out on a limb and say what I’d like to see happen.
First I’d like to see the gymnasium restored to have balconies on all four sides that are secure and safe for fans to sit in. I’d like the exhibit we’ve put in about the Refiners and local basketball history expanded and protected with plexi-glass.
The floor could be put back to wood and the drop ceiling removed to show the beams above.
It would be great to make the whole building into a basketball center. This could be done by converting the auditorium to a basketball court giving the Rec Commission additional courts to work with. I know Mayor Tom Brown has also looked into funding to make the Community Building a community storm shelter.
I’d like to see the kitchen expanded and made into something more useable. I’d like it better maintained with a new roof, heating and add an air conditioning system.
At one time the building was called Convention Hall and I think if proper sound and A/V were installed it could be a more usable facility for meetings of all sizes.
Any changes though will be a little while in coming to fruition. I hope McPhersonites – both native and adopted -- support efforts to preserve this cornerstone of our community.

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