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West Tennessee Treasures - Medina - Medina Gymnasium

By Laura Bannon
By lbannon@wbbjtv.com

MEDINA, Tenn. - In Gibson County you will find a gymnasium. A gymnasium built by the community, for the community. For over 60 years it's been home to generations of basketball players.

"It reminds you of the history the old high schools that you used to see and like the movie, "Hoosiers" when you walk in you see the gym in the movie, "Hoosiers", dressing rooms it brings back those memories of these wooden stands that people sat in it brings back those memories of time gone by," said Charles Johnson, of the historical society in Medina.

The original school was built in 1911 and served Medina as a public high school.

The gym is virtually unchanged and it takes it's visitors back in time to an era of satin shorts.

"Architecturally, we had two men. Mr. Ray Allen and Mr W.B. Ellum who had to go out into St Louis and learn how to put the structure together they had to be taught up there in the early 40s"

The structure of the gymnasium is strategically laid out and it has stood the test of time.

"The pressure points are not in the normal place that roof line would be there at opposite ends. It’s kind of like a expandable bridge, almost that was put together," said Johnson.

But that was many years ago. Now, the City of Medina has restored this gym to pass the ball onto future generations.

"One of the important things about this school and especially this gym is that these children who for a great part moved into this community who were born first generation. They’re building their own legacy," Johnson said. "This gym starts back in 1944 and this school was back in 1911 that is an amazing thing that we can be proud of and sometimes it got a little history to it, so I think they will probably remember this gym for the rest of their life and that’s important."
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