sanding gym floor

KAIT Channel 8 News

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – Several new renovations are coming to the Earl Bell Community Center. The 78-year-old building is getting new hardwood floors for the basketball court and construction is underway.

“It’s going to increase the playability a lot more,” said Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler. “The court will actually last longer than the old rubber floor, the life span is about 40 to 60 years.”

In addition to new hardwood floors, the building will have air conditioning installed for the first time ever.

“We’ll be able to use this year around,” he said. “That’s one of the things we’re lacking here because its 100 degrees and the kids can’t play.”

He said these renovations are so important because it gives kids in the community a safe place to come and have fun.

“We want to keep the kids active we don’t want them sitting around, and we don’t want them on the streets either,” said Huffstetler. “We want them to stay out of trouble.”

It’s a project he said is well worth the money.

“The basketball court is right around $45,000, and the heat and air is going to be right around $120,000,” he said.  “We’re spending close to a half a million dollars on this place.”

A new generator that was also purchased will benefit the community in case of an emergency.

“This is a new evacuation center for emergency use,” he said. “We have a generator that will power up the whole facility.”

Huffstetler said the basketball court and air conditioning installation should be completed by the end of May.

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