Paw Paw hopes to build a rec center for youth
The Town of Paw Paw is planning to build a community wellness and recreation center for youth and adult activities. Plans are in the preliminary stages.
The building will include a multi-purpose room that could be used as both a gymnasium and social room, an exercise room, meeting rooms, a kitchen and restrooms, said Paw Paw Mayor Julie Kidwell. They may start with the gymnasium and locker rooms and build on to it, she said.
Morgan County Commission President Glen Stotler and County Commissioner Brenda Hutchinson have gone to different meetings. Stotler has been helping them with the legwork, said Kidwell. The County Commission has been very supportive, she said.
While the community center would be a town entity, their Parks and Recreation Commission would oversee the facility, said Kidwell. New members of the Town of Paw Paw Parks and Recreation Commission are chairman Wayne Benson, vice chairman Kelly Adams, co-treasurers David "Doc" Holliday and David Deaver, secretary David Leach and Kidwell.
When the Town of Paw Paw sent out a survey in the water bills to see what residents wanted to see in the town, everyone said that we needed organized activities for kids, said Kidwell. There were also several community meetings to discuss the issue. They decided the most important thing to focus on was some sort of community center, she said.
The goal is to provide a gymnasium, said Kidwell. It's hard to use the school for activities because of insurance liability requirements that many non-profit agencies can't meet, she said. The school gymnasium is also busy with volleyball, basketball and other school activities.
They have an instructor to teach karate but there's nowhere to have classes, Kidwell said. A community center could also host Weight Watchers or aerobics classes.
Funding avenues could include a childhood obesity focus, said Kidwell. She is looking into funding from health and wellness agencies for the community recreation center.