Moss Point Rec Center in "Wrecked" Shape - - The News for South Mississippi

Moss Point Rec Center in "Wrecked" Shape

   What was once a place for basketball, pool, dances, and summer camps, now plays home to hundreds of trash cans.  Keli Rabon takes us to a landmark of recreation in Moss Point that was destroyed by Katrina, and over a year later, has still gone untouched.  

"A facility for garbage cans, a dump."   

Those aren't words you'd typically hear from a 7th grader describing his hometown gym, but it's the reality that Shyquea Broughton sees everyday.   

"It used to look alive," Broughton said.   

"I used to come here for games and playing basketball. Dances, camps, basketball. It was fun. But after Hurricane Katrina came, all that stopped," Broughton said.   

And 13 months later:   

"Now it's just a dump for trash cans," Broughton said.   

Broughton isn't the only one who remembers the rec center as a place for fun.   

"I see...catastrophe. I think of a lot of the good times we used to have. It was a place you could come work out, shoot ball, relieve stress, laugh. That's what a lot of people remember it as," Moss Point resident Derrick Kimbrough said.   

This basketball might be the only piece of equipment still in tact in Sue Ellen gym. But as Shyquea told me, this rec center helped keep the lives of Moss Point kids in tact as well.   

"When the gym was open, you didn't see a whole lot of fights and stuff like that. Now we see children getting arrested on the streets, selling drugs and things, and when the gym was open, there wasn't none of that," Broughton said.   

Mayor Bishop recognizes the facility is in poor condition, and will be torn down, and rebuilt as a rec center and shelter. But working with FEMA and MEMA is taking longer than expected.   

"This has been a very long and tedious process. We don't have designs, we don't have figures. Essentially all we have at this point is a commitment from them to work with us in getting this done," Bishop said.   

So until then, broken glass and torn insulation will be all that residents will find at their home away from home.   

"I think it's a horrible dream, just a dump. Something that was that good, turned into something this terrible," Broughton said.         

Mayor Bishop says the city plans to follow up on a request made in July to remove trash cans from the facility, and hopes that in the near future, the city can obtain funding to move forward on building renovations. In the mean time, he hopes that people utilize the Riverfront Rec Center, which has some of the services formerly at Sue Ellen.

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