Plans for community center might get scrapped - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Plans for community center might get scrapped

Every Friday dozens of seniors dance to the old standards inside what many of them call a sub-standard Gaisman Community Center.

"I just think they deserve something that does them more good", said center volunteer Martha Taylor.

Better than a 40-year-old facility with a bad roof, holes in the ceiling, leaky pipes and chipped paint. The city recently put out a call for bids on a $10,000,000 project to tear down and replace the center with a state of the art community and aquatic center like the Ed Rice Center in Frayser.

But on Friday, Parks Director Bob Fouche told us the plans may get scrapped.

Fouche said, "We are in the process of re-assessing the Park Services Division's capital improvement program, and this project very well may be diverted because of the city's budget crisis. The RFP went out, but that's not to say it will be followed up on."

It's frustrating for those who rely on the center.

"We're putting out for taxes and everything else", Taylor said. "Why are we the ones who always have to be put out?"

A question also asked by the center's Councilwoman Carol Chumney, who's vocal about tightening the city's purse string. Chumney says cutting city capital projects are critical, just not this one.

"The Pyramid's been built, there's been money for the FedExForum, there's been money to redo the mall downtown twice, just about every project in the city you can think of, and these folks have had to wait."

And continue to wait, dancing up a storm in stormy budget times. The city has already put dozens of capital projects on hold in recent years thanks to budget concerns. Parks Director Bob Fouche said today his office will decide which of his current projects will get cut or pushed back sometime next week.

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