Community center at Arab City Park slated for demolition, new idea in the works

ARAB, Ala. -- A community center used for decades in the Arab City Park is slated for demolition, but the City Council has an idea to replace it.

A white sign with red letters is posted on the front of the community center in Arab City Park. It bears a message saying the building isn't safe. Built decades earlier, Mayor Bob Joslin says the place has gone downhill.

After a recent round of storms, city crews found more than 100 leaks in the building, there's black mold, and there are cracks in the walls to the point to where you can see daylight. The city condemned it, got a second opinion, and on Monday the City Council decided to tear it down. "The repairs far outweighed the value of the building," Joslin explained.

So, it's in with a new plan. "We plan to look at other avenues for building a new community center there," Joslin said, "I'd like to build a combination community center and storm shelter because we don't have any shelters on that side of town."

It isn't in the budget for this year but Joslin says they hope to get some state and federal dollars to help build it down the road. City crews will tear down the building likely over the next several weeks.