A significant remodel of the city-owned community center on Wilson Street in New Albany is underway.
Many aspects of the building are being improved to make it a quality facility that can be used by various groups.
The men’s and women’s bathrooms were recently remodeled and brought up to Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
Other ADA improvements, including adding a handicap ramp to the outside of the building, have also been made.
In addition, the building’s main section has been made more spacious by removing a stage that was in the facility.
The kitchen also used to be in the main part of the building but was moved into what used to be an office.
The new kitchen will offer plenty of room to prepare meals for various events.
Another part of the remodel project involved tearing out the old ceiling and putting in a new one.
There will also be more energy efficient lighting installed.
Improvements were also made to the walls and windows, and the inside of the building will be repainted.
“It will look nice. . .,” said Ted McClure the contractor on the project.
The remodel project, which should be done in April or May, has also involved installing new electrical wiring in the kitchen.
A new roof has also been put on the building.
The building is about 60 years old, and Mayor Tim Kent said it had not been updated in many years.
Another reason the building is being remodeled is to provide a meeting place that will hold over 100 people with tables.
The Magnolia Room at the Magnolia Civic Center will hold about 70 to 75 people with tables, he noted.
Officials have even looked into the idea of building a new facility, the mayor said. But due to the cost of constructing a new facility that plan was not pursued. A new building would have cost around $3 million, he said.
Landscaping is also being put around the building, and at some point a parking lot will have to be put in, Kent said. The parking lot could be put in where the old swimming pool was to keep people from parking on the street.
There are several local groups that could possibly use the remodeled community center for gatherings, such as the hospital, the Union County Development Association and others.
“We’ll offer it for rent just like we do the Magnolia Room,” said the mayor.
Kent noted that the remodel project will cost around $55,000.
McClure said there have been many dances held in the building over the years, and it has also been used for family reunions.
“The building holds a lot of memories for a lot of folks,” said McClure.
City of New Albany employees have also used it for gatherings.