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A key gathering place

We would like to take a moment to celebrate the opening of the Kenbridge Recreation Center. It is an important step in the efforts to revitalize the gym that are being spearheaded by Joyce White Freeman.

The opening of such a facility would, of course, usually be the cause for at least some excitement, but understanding how much this gymnasium could truly benefit the community takes our excitement to another level entirely.

As we previously reported in April, Freeman leads the resident-organized committee to save the facility and outlined the committee’s goals to support it. The gym has suffered from deteriorating conditions due to lack of funding to make repairs.

Freeman said the gymnasium has played “a vital role in the Town of Kenbridge … providing a safe haven for all walks to come and have structured recreational activities and gatherings.”

The Kenbridge Recreation Center was apparently a school gym in the 1950s, and evidence of its earliest use is found in the lockers still in place there.

Freeman, who is a longtime basketball coach, said revitalizing the gymnasium would keep young people and their families in the county and offer the chance for the town to earn revenue if tournaments, games and events were held at the facility.

“The Kenbridge Recreational Center will provide a great environment for our community and make a meaningful difference in the lives of our youth,” Freeman said. “Not only will it add in our efforts to build a community, in addition, the building will be a resource to bring in revenue for the county.”

The gym opens 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturdays to accommodate the Farmers Market clients and to provide a gathering place for the community.

Freeman is looking for continued help in restoring the building, aiding in it becoming the venue for activities every day.

We’re excited the Kenbridge Recreation Center’s doors are starting to open again, and like Freeman, we hope they can swing wide open soon throughout the week.