Sherman Parks and Recreation salvages empty building for recreation complex

The City of Sherman’s Parks and Recreation department has salvaged its second abandoned building to create a public recreation complex. The Taylor Street Sports Complex, across from Fairview Park on Taylor Street, now occupies the former Girls, Inc. space.

Director of Parks and Recreation Kevin Winkler said that the city used about $190,000 to restore and renovate the abandoned building. The money was used to remove asbestos from and repair the damaged structure of the aging structure. Winkler said the project came in $10,000 under budget, since the city had approved $200,000 from the Capital Improvement Plan for the renovation.

Under Winkler’s direction, the city also renovated the current Parks and Recreation administration building. The building was once a city daycare facility, Winkler said.

Winkler said that the Taylor Street Sports Complex will be used for activities, official leagues registered with the city, or other special events. Winkler said, “as with any city building, there will be an employee on site when in use. At this time there is not the ability to privately reserve the facility.”

Winkler said that the Parks & Recreation department could consider hiring additional employees or giving employees more hours so that citizens can reserve the gym. “At this time we do not have the staff or budget to rent the gym out. In the future during the budget process each year we will present options to the City Council based on staff evaluation and proceed on their direction as the budget allows.”

Currently, Winkler said, the department aims to have the facility open to the general public once a week, on Thursday nights.

Winkler said his department would continue to look for ways to salvage abandoned structures for the benefit of the citizens of Sherman: “We constantly evaluate location that are acquired by the city to ‘re-purpose’ them to benefit the citizens of Sherman and community when possible based on need and budget.”