Hope Community Center making plans to save historic gym

Community Center of Hope. Photo courtesy of Christopher Clark.
Community Center of Hope. Photo courtesy of Christopher Clark.

The Community Center of Hope will try to save a landmark building in the community that has previously been slated for demolition.

The center’s board of directors have been working on plans to demolish the former Hope Town School gymnasium, which has fallen into disrepair. Previous estimates had indicated hundreds of thousands of dollars would be needed to repair the roof, structural damage and remove the mold from the building.

But Jeff Yarnell, president of the community center board, says that a Hope builder, Ken Patton, looked at the building and came to a different conclusion, saying he thinks the work can be done at a fraction of the cost. Yarnell says that could turn the gym into a community asset again.


The building has sentimental value for many residents, board members said. The gymnasium was constructed in 1938 as a Civilian Conservation Corps project during the Great Depression. The gym was the home of the Hope Red Devils. Later, following a consolidation of Flat Rock and Hawcreek Township schools, was the home of the Hauser Jets until 1966.

The community center operates a pre-kindergarten and food pantry in the town. It held its annual meeting last night. Yarnell said the center plans a fundraising campaign to rebuild the gymnasium.

For more information you can callĀ  812-546-4499.