Community Center gets a facelift

Published 11:12 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

FRANKLIN—They may be a small group, but they set a big goal and met it.

The Cobb Town Veterans, consisting of just seven members, recently supervised a renovation of their Community Center at 1821 South St.

“We fixed it up top to bottom, front to back,” said George Cato Jr., secretary.

The group, which is open to all veterans, is hoping a spiffy clubhouse will attract more members.

“We want to serve the community as much as possible, and we need support and cooperation,” Cato said.

Half of the community center is used by Faith Deliverance Church on Sundays. The other half is rented out for parties and meetings. The Cobb Town Veterans meet there at 7 p.m. every first Monday.

Nearly every inch of the building, which was falling into disrepair, was made over.

The ceiling was sheetrocked, insulation was added, the floors were painted and the bathrooms were redone.

A dozen or so probationers from the Southampton Detention Center were assigned to help with the renovations, which took about a month-and-a-half, Cato said.

“I wrote the superintendent a letter and asked for the help with labor,” he explained.

The probationers, usually charged with nonviolent felonies, are part of a short-term community-based program. They are on probation but housed at the detention center for six months, according to Superintendent Dennis Burgess.

Burgess said the facility gets a lot of requests for labor.

“We stay pretty busy,” he said. “We will do anything for a nonprofit organization. We’ve worked with the housing department, churches and local rescue squads. We’ve done a multitude of things.”

Burgess said there are many benefits for the probationers.

“They really enjoy it,” he said. “For them it builds some pride and confidence in being able to show off the work they’ve done. It’s a good way to help them transition back into the community.”

Local nonprofit groups interested in volunteer labor can contact the center and ask to speak to Assistant Superintendent Maj. Early Turner, Burgess said.

Veterans who are interested in joining the Cobb Town group may call Cato at 562-5494.