Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 2, 2013

Repairs begin on city's re-acquired rec center

JACKSONVILLE — Electrical fixes. Plumbing work. Repairs to floors, doors and ceilings. More than 40 gallons of paint to disperse.

There is much work to be done over the next 45 days at the city's newly re-acquired recreation center, 902 Peeples Street.

The city – and, by extension, the Texas Department of Corrections trusties who are being loaned out to help with the job – certainly have their work cut out for them. (Of course, these prisoners are highly-motivated by the lure of possible pizza or hamburgers for lunch.)

On Monday, three of the trusties started painting the outside of the building – diligently applying coats to a low wall. Another trusty in a lift applied coats to the high wall of the outside upper floor in a criss-cross pattern.

This flurry of motion was made legally possible after the city reacquired the center from the now-defunct Lon Morris College bankruptcy estate.

The Jacksonville City Council subsequently approved $20,000 budget amendment transferring funds from the general fund administrative contingency account to pay for refurbishing.

The needed repairs also include patching and regular maintenance.

Will Cole, the city's director of Public Works, was at the scene Monday making sure everything went as planned.

“We're taking care of the fundamentals,” Cole explained. “We're trying to get the outside painted light grey with dark grey trim from the original tan with green trim. Inside, we will paint it white with blue accents. All in all, We'll be here until mid-May.”

Mo Raissi, Jacksonville city manager, has said the ultimate goal is make the center safe.

“We want the kids to be able to go out and go play,” Raissi said in a previous interview.

It's not been that long since this property was in the care of Lon Morris College.

In 2009, the city transferred the title of an 11-acre plot of land that included the rodeo arena, recreation center, a nearby field and an animal shelter building to LMC.

At the time, Lon Morris officials, including former president Dr. Miles McCall, announced plans to build a new agriculture center and operate an equine program on the land in exchange for upgrading the rodeo equipment and allowing the city to use the facilities.

The college also pledged to provide care and maintenance at the time of the original agreement, officials said..

But much of this land – particularly at the rec center – was neglected.

Ultimately, when LMC declared bankruptcy, the city was able to reacquire the land. But in many cases, the sheer amount of neglect was glaring.

It's going to take some elbow grease to fix these problems, officials said.

Buck Durant, a TDC corrections officer on the scene, said hard work shouldn't be a problem for the trusties.  

This group of four prisoners – who were “chomping at the bit to get this detail” –  currently are housed at the TDC's Skyview unit in Rusk, presided over by Warden Tommy Haynes, Durrant said.

“Their motto is, 'We'll do anything for food,' ” he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014

  • 2 men arrested after standoff in grocery store

    Two men were arrested early Wednesday morning after a standoff at the B&B Foods in Alto.
    According to Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson, a person reported seeing two black males at the store just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Some area entities closed for holiday

    Many area offices and businesses will be closed Friday in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

    April 17, 2014

  • Dispatcher Enge 0416.tif JPD dispatcher killed in wreck

    A dispatcher for the Jacksonville Police Department was killed Monday on her way to work, according to officials.
    Amber Enge, 35, of Whitehouse was pronounced dead at the scene of a one-vehicle wreck Monday afternoon on CR 2177 in Whitehouse.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • CR speed limit changes, E-filling fee top agenda

    On Monday, Cherokee County commissioners set April 28 to hold public hearings concerning the changing speed limits on two county roads.

    April 16, 2014

  • Catherine look.tif Religious lines drawn: Protesters met by members of Church of Wells

    Other than a few community members' voices that rose above the crowd, the protest Saturday against the Church of Wells remained peaceful.

    April 15, 2014 3 Photos