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County paints and polishes Central Gym

By WILLIAM PAINE

william.paine@southwesttimes.com

This week, Pulaski County administrators and supervisors gathered to ceremonially cut a ribbon to mark a just completed paint and polish project at the Central Gym. Much of the work was done by members of the county’s Parks and Recreation Department, as well as a few county maintenance workers.

Thanks to their efforts, the formerly blue colored ceiling of the Central Gym is now a crisp white. Wall were repainted throughout the gym and attached rooms, including the bathrooms.

Before the ribbon cutting, Assistant County Administrator Anthony Akers, who has played his share of basketball games in this same gym, emphasized the age of this structure by drawing attention to a plaque that hangs on the outer wall of the gym. The plaque shows that the Pulaski High School Gymnasium (now called the Central Gym), was built as a part of a public works project under President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration.

Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet opened the proceedings.

“I want to point out where we are right now,” said Sweet. “We are standing next to the County Administration Building, which was built in 1916. The building we’re standing in right now was built in 1939. People ask, ‘When did you put a new floor in and a new ceiling?’ We didn’t. None of this is new.”

“It’s the theme of everything that we’re doing right now,” Sweet opined. “We’re taking the negative of COVID, and we’re making it a positive.”

Sweet went on to praise members of the county’s Parks and Rec Department.

“These guys had free time with COVID and they said, ‘We’re not going to sit around, we’re going to put our time and energy to good use,’” Sweet continued. “These guys were in full paint gear, up on the scaffolding, cleaning the ceiling before they could paint it. They painted it from ceiling to floor.”

Chairman of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors, Joe Guthrie, remarked on the labor intensive task of cleaning and painting the steel girder ceiling of the gym, comparing the complexity of this job to Pulaski’s own version of the work done on the Sistine Chapel.

This remark garnered some chuckles from those present.

Guthrie went on to remark on the excellent condition of the gym floor, which had been polished and painted by the Scott Flooring company. In addition to a freshly painted Pulaski County logo at the center of the gym floor, new lines were added, so that in addition to basketball, visitors to the gym can play volleyball, badminton and even pickle ball using the new markings.

“If things in the county have value, we’re not going to throw them away,” remarked Sweet. “We’re going to redo them. We’re going to polish all of our gems/gyms including this one.”

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