Dozens voice their concerns about the future of Richardson Community Center

Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 11:41 PM EDT
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LAKE CITY, Fla. (WCJB) - The Columbia County commission discussed whether to continue funding the Richardson Community Center in Lake City.

The meeting brought dozens of residents, who voiced their opinions.

“Let’s come back to the table together and let’s come up with more ideas of bringing more funds in,” said resident Azie Handy.

Handy, who has done volunteer work at the center, spoke about the importance of keeping it funded. She said the center not only serves its sports purposes, but it also brings the community together through volunteer work.

“The kids are the future generation and we must invest in them,” stated Handy.

Residents also said the center has been a recreational place for people in the black community and they consider it a historic institution in the county.

“It goes back for years, in fact it’s a historical site,” shared resident Glenel Bowden. “It was a school, then it became a rec center for the city of Lake City and now it’s a community rec center for the county.”

Glenel Bowden is a longtime resident of Lake City and graduated from the facility which was once a high school.

Residents said it would be an investment towards young people, and get them involved in community projects.

“We need recreation,” said Bowden. “Recreation is a positive thing in the community, it helps prevent crime.”

The Columbia County staff will meet and come up with a plan for the facility.

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