New building dedicatedPublished 8:50pm Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The Suffolk Corps of the Salvation Army dedicated its new Physical Health and Education building on Sept. 17.
“It’s going to make one heck of a difference in the community,” building chairman Bobby Harrell said in an interview before the ceremony. “For the youth, it will give them a place to get off the street. It also is going to help the seniors in the community.”
According to research done by the Suffolk Corps, about 1,500 seniors and 2,500 children residing within a mile of the building live below the poverty level. The corps expects they will be the main users of the building, which is located next to its headquarters at 400 Bank St.
The 22,400-square-foot building includes a 6,000-square-foot wellness center, a computer room, meeting rooms, a gymnasium, an exercise pavilion and the “Christmas pavilion,” where the Salvation Army toy distribution will take place each year.
The exercise pavilion will include about 14 pieces of equipment geared toward seniors but available for anybody, Harrell said, including seated elliptical machines, recumbent bicycles and treadmills.
Several partnerships will enhance the usage of the building. A partnership with the city’s emergency services will allow the building to be used as a post-event emergency shelter. The Bon Secours Care-A-Van will make twice-weekly visits to provide care to people with no insurance. And Paul D. Camp Community College hopes to teach some classes there, Harrell said.
“We’ve got lots of partnerships,” he said.
Plenty of partnerships helped to construct the building, too. Eighteen foundations and many individuals and businesses gave money, with no support from any level of government.
“We had great community support,” Harrell said.
For more information on the building, call the Salvation Army at 539-5201.