Community center OK’d for Warner Building

by Celia Shortt

Newnan City Council on Tuesday accepted the council-appointed Howard Warner Committee’s recommendation of converting the historic school into a youth recreation and community center at their meeting on Tuesday.

“(We) felt that Ms. Jenkins proposal had been the best chance,” said Leroy Hill, spokesman for the Howard Warner Committee. “We recommend that her plan go forward.”

Newnan City Councilmember Cynthia Jenkins put together a plan for the Savannah Street facility which would allow the community and other organizations to use the space. The local YMCA would utilize the basement for its early learning program. The Boys & Girls Club would operate in three of the main level classrooms and the auditorium, and the three remaining classrooms would be used to meet community needs.

“Hopefully, the plan I offered to them that was recommended will come to fruition so we can provide to the community and preserve a valuable historic structure in our community,” she said.

The council accepted the commission’s recommendation. Jenkins will be meeting with the interested organizations and moving forward. She will give updates to the council as needed.

Hill, Jenkins, and the council know that more details still need to be worked out, including an athletic field on the property.

The proposal includes replacing the 1954 building with a new gym and utilizing the 1935 building for the use by the YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, and the community.

“There’s no way we’re going to shut the community out of that building,” said Jenkins following an earlier committee meeting. The work on the facility is to be paid for with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds and a possible joint City/County CDBG grant.

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