The Hubbard High School wrestling team practices Monday evening at the Roosevelt Gym, which formerly housed Roosevelt Elementary School. The Hubbard Board of Education is working with the Hubbard Youth Coalition to renovate the gym.
Staff photo / Hailey Rogenski
HUBBARD — The Hubbard Board of Education is working with the Hubbard Youth Coalition to renovate the old Roosevelt gym, formerly known as Roosevelt Elementary School, into a community wellness center.
The old Roosevelt gym is used for athletic training for sports teams within the Hubbard Exempted Village School District. James Chaney, president of the Hubbard Youth Coalition, said he wants to see the gym opened to the public, and not just Hubbard athletes.
“This is a building that right now, in our early vision, was just going to be youth sports and high school sports and all that kind of stuff and programs, you know, through the school. But then what do you do with the building from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. when the kids aren’t using it?” he said. “The community funded it, and we want them to have access to the building. It’s an easy way to form a business, and we’ll be able to do that within 48 hours.”
He said if they open it up to the public, “the school district gets first dibs” when it comes to scheduling, so the sports teams will get to use the facility as needed.
Chaney said some of the renovations include emptying out the remaining classrooms, adding a “gratitude wall” for their donors, adding batting cages and pitching machines, eliminating a set of bleachers and installing high impact-resistant drywall.
He said his work as a wrestling coach inspired him to want to renovate the gym.
“I was hired during COVID-19 to be the strength coach,” Chaney said. “There wasn’t enough adequate space, and we weren’t using the whole building. We were just using a small portion, so it was really difficult. We had a large team that year.”
The gym will be renovated with funds donated by the Cody A. Pitts Foundation and through fundraisers. Pitts was murdered in March 2015 in downtown Hubbard and his case remains unsolved.
In other action, board members announced the district will be opening a food pantry for hungry students.The pantry was made possible by a $5,000 donation also from the Cody A. Pitts Foundation, according to Hubbard Schools Superintendent Raymond Soloman.
He said it also is going to be made possible through Second Harvest Food Bank, which will help provide the food.
Students who are hungry and don’t have food at home can receive items from the pantry after informing their teacher or administrator.
Soloman said the district is accepting donations of nonperishable items, including boxed goods and canned foods, to stock the pantry shelves.