Recreation center faces closure due to pandemic

MADISON COUNTY, Tenn. — A building in Beech Bluff has withstood the test of time.

Beech Bluff Recreation Center 1

“It was given to the Recreational Department to use a recreation center,” said John Arnold with the Beech Bluff Area Neighborhood Association. “This has been the thing that has kind of held this community together.”

It acted as the only K-12 school in the community before closing years ago. It was then given new life in the last two years.

Now it could be shut down for good. COVID-19 has affected communities across the nation.

The center was used for events such summer camps, karate and dance classes before the pandemic.

With county leaders considering budget cuts soon, funding for the Beech Bluff Recreation Center could be cut.

Beech Bluff Recreation Center 3

Arnold says the community has already been impacted over the years.

“You can see the way the community has gone down every time they close something down,” he said.

With several community stores and business shut down, he says the center was the only thing left of the community’s quality of life.

“Anything we do doesn’t seem good enough,” Arnold said.

The Madison County Budget Committee is looking ahead to their meeting next week, in which they’ll decide the future of the center.

Beech Bluff Recreation Center 2

“If we didn’t get some community spirit out of our elected officials that care about the communities, and the impact that they’re going to have on them to completely tear them down, this whole county is going to suffer for it,” Arnold said.

The Madison County Commission will vote on the 20/21 budget Monday.

If passed, the last day of operation for the center would be Friday, May 22.

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