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Sweetwater gym set to open Sept. 5

A recreation project nearly a decade in the making will soon be completed. The $2 million Sweetwater gym is set to officially open on Sept. 5 with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.

Local officials were glad to see the project that was paid for with sales tax money finally come to fruition.

"I'm just excited that we finally got it on the budget," said Thomson City Councilman and Recreation Committee Member Mike Carrington. "We had a tight budget to pull off. ...We really did our homework and got the design people to come in and design it where it would be exactly what we wanted, but exactly what we could afford."

The facility includes two full sized basketball courts, bleachers and a large storage area, as well as plenty of office space. According to Recreation Department Director Bob Howard, the department is now operating out of the new facility and is nearly done moving equipment.

Mr. Howard said the gym floor was recently refinished because of scratches that occurred during the installation of the some equipment. He said everything is in place and ready to go as of early this week.

"I think it's beautiful," Mr. Carrington said. "The courts and all inside are just super nice. I'm just excited about it."

Even though the Thomson Competitive Bulldogs cheerleading squad has already conducted practices in the new building, it won't be open to the public until after the grand opening.

Activities will take place in the gym during regular business hours, and it will be open to citizens from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, Mr. Howard said. It will also be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The daily cost to use the gym is $2 for adults and $1 for students.

Those hoping to utilize the new facility will now have a place to park. Mr. Carrington said that enough money was left in the budget to pave the parking lot near the gym. Mr. Howard said paving began on Monday.

Web posted on Thursday, August 24, 2006

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