Jug Brown Recreation Facility
The Enterprise Parks and Recreation staff will soon be moving out of the M.N. “Jug” Brown Community Center so they can move ahead with plans for construction of a new recreational facility there.
Billy Powell, director of the Enterprise Parks and Recreation Department, said the building where the department has made its home since for 61 years will be vacated in the coming weeks. Daily operations will take place at the Enterprise Civic Center, where the staff will be based until a new recreation center is built sometime in the next three years.
The staff expects to be moved to the Civic Center during the last week of September and can be contacted there for the foreseeable future.
Powell said no programs will be cut back during this time. Senior Aerobics and Weight Watchers classes that had previously been conducted at the Rec Center are now being conducted at the Enterprise Farmers Market. Arrangements for any other activities moved from the Rec Center will be announced later.
“It’s somewhat emotional for us because this building has meant so much to our community through the years,” Powell said. “But at the same time, we are extremely excited about the recreational improvements and possibilities that our overall plan will bring for the citizens we serve.”
The comprehensive plans include the demolition of the Jug Brown building, with construction of a new building that will house the headquarters and provide space for other activities still in the development stage, along with plans for an outdoor swimming pool at the site.
Plans are also under way to renovate Peavy Park and develop 25 acres of land to be deeded to the City by Enterprise State Community College. The land is located adjacent to the City’s Peavy Park and ESCC’s main campus area. Both Peavy and the additional property will become a multi-sports complex with soccer fields, walking and biking trails, restrooms, playground, volleyball courts and disc golf.
The City and ESCC are working together as well to restore the old college indoor swimming pool for use by the college and the public.
“Our needs are getting greater for indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities and swimming, and right now, we’re not able to accommodate some of those needs,” Powell said, expressing enthusiasm about the future of recreation in Enterprise. “We’ve been addressing the needs and desires of citizens in our community for several years, and this great project is the result of really years of research, analyzation and budget studies on the part of a number of people.”
Powell said plans are now falling into place. “All of the work that goes into this project is going to be worth it in the end because we’re going to have wonderful facilities for those who enjoy both outdoor and indoor recreational activities. We are the City of Progress and this project really shows that we are moving ahead,” he said.
Powell said the future plans won’t overshadow the need to also look back during this time at the history of the Jug Brown building. A decommissioning ceremony is being planned for the building to pay tribute to its iconic status in the community for so many years.
“Lots of traditions were started here,” Powell said. “Generations of families have participated in Rec Center activities here. We want to recognize that.”
Details of the ceremony will be announced when plans are finalized.