|Ferriday gym looks good as new|
With a shiny new black and gold floor, freshly-painted walls, sidewalks and bleachers, 16 ceiling fans, refurbished restrooms and new ceiling lights, the Florida Street gym looks good enough to host a high school basketball again.
And that's just one of the goals of Ferriday Recreation Director McKinley Bates.
"I've talked to a few people about it, but the decision will have to come from administrators and the school board," Bates said. "But that's the reason I painted the floor black and gold."
A 3-point line and even a semicircle under the goals which the NBA uses to call charges and blocks, adorn the shiny floor, with Ferriday Arena written along the sideline.
"We shut it down for 14 weeks to work on it," said Bates, who opened the gym up for summer use on Monday. "The reason I wrote Ferriday Arena is that it can be used for anything, parties, reunions, dances, you name it. This place hasn't had plumbing for three years and now we have water coming in."
Bates used a $35,000 grant to refurbish the gym, and has used Sheriff's Office work release to assist.
"The bathrooms have been completely overhauled, the weight room is cleaned up and there are classrooms that could not be used before," he said. "We're trying to attend to the needs of the people. We want to give them something they can be proud of, something that is first class. And this is definitely a first-class place."