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Phil Gainer Community Center’s closing has allowed renovation time

The Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley The Phil Gainer Community Center has been undergoing renovations during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

ELKINS — Although the Phil Gainer Community Center has been closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the downtime has allowed officials to proceed with renovations and upgrades to the facility.

“If there was something good that came of this, it was that we were able to accomplish a lot of my wish list,” said PGCC Director Chris Lee. “With this closure we were able to get a lot accomplished. And when we do get to open back up, it’s going to be a much improved facility for the community.”

A date is still not available for the reopening of the center, but Lee said the Elkins Parks and Recreation Commission will meet on Aug. 18 to discuss reopening.

“Right now we’re meeting once a month to discuss what we are going to do,” said Lee. “The Gainer Center and the EPRC is all about safety first. But we are excited to some day open the improved facility to the community.”

Some of the improvements made during the closure include: Replacing the old windows in he building; tinting the windows for offices and meeting rooms; installling air conditioning for the offices and meeting rooms; repairs to the flat portion of the roof, new flooring in the men’s bathroom; a new garage door; and the installation of keypads and card access to the facility’s doors.

Lee said air conditioning for the rest of the building and a new gymnasium floor are next up on the “things to do” list.

Elkins City Council voted in November 2014 to purchase the former National Guard Armory for $200,000.

The announcement came after more than two years of county and city officials working together on the issue, followed by several months of halting progress on a joint purchase by the two governing bodies that did not come to fruition.

After its purchase by the city, the facility was renamed the Phil Gainer Community Center.

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