Renovations at Phil Gainer Center complete | News, Sports, Jobs

ELKINS — The Phil Gainer Community Center refurbishment project is complete as the final step to make the entire facility fully climate controlled was recently completed.

“I am grateful that city officials recognize the value the Phil Gainer Community Center has in Elkins and Randolph County,” PGCC director Chris Lee told The Inter-Mountain on Tuesday. “They recognized that this project was vital to ensure the facility is the best it can be for the people we serve.

“I view this project as a long-term commitment to our community that would not have happened without the support of the community and the support of our city officials.”

The new HVAC system allows the center to host events that it has not been able to do in the past, especially during the hot summer months.

“I am pleased with the results of the HVAC installation because it simply makes the Phil Gainer Community Center a better space for the many families and organizations in the community that use it,” said Lee.

“Due to the lack of air conditioning we had in the past, we only worked effectively four months a year,” he said. “As it started to warm up in May, the facility became less useful to our community until it cooled down again in October. It has always been a priority that the PGCC is here to serve our community and we have not been able to do that all year round until now.”

Lee said word of all the upgrades is already being filtered by the entire community, which is why the demand for using the center is already on the rise.

“We’re already seeing tangible results as our calendar fills up months where we haven’t in the past,” he said. “We are already starting to attract new summer banquets and other formal events such as weddings, which we would not have been able to organize before without air conditioning.

“In the past, we lost about a third of our potential revenue because we were closed practically four months a year.”

Aside from the HVAC upgrades, the facility also received a new roof on part of the building, new energy-efficient windows, new lighting, and a new drop ceiling in the lobby, meeting room and gymnasium access.

“With the completion of this project, we will be able to both better serve the community and take steps to achieve the true revenue potential of the Phil Gainer Community Center,” said Lee. “And that revenue allows us to offer free programs to our local youth, which is a very important part of what we do here at the center.”

In 2014, Elkins City Council voted to purchase the former National Guard Armory for $200,000. After the city’s purchase, the facility was renamed the Phil Gainer Community Center.

In 2019, the City Council transferred the Phil Gainer Community Center to the Elkins Building Commission to issue bonds up to $750,000 to pay for the facility’s renovation.

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