The gymnasium at the James Willison Family Center, formerly Sistersville High School, has been closed indefinitely due to safety concerns, however, Councilman Vance Ash assures residents the building has not been condemned.
"When you first walk into the school (the floor) has dropped 16 or 18 inches," Ash explained. "It has been going bad for the past couple of years but in the last three months, it's really bottomed out."
Ash contacted the insurance company and they advised him to close the gymnasium. As a result, basketball tournaments slated to be played at the center last weekend were cancelled. "It was a safety issue," he commented.
The building will be evaluated by a structural engineer this week to determine the best course of action. In the meantime, the building will remain closed. "I'm guessing the building will be down at least three or four months. The building is not condemned. Nothing is going on. We are just waiting to hear from the adjustor and the structural engineer."
Ash believes the problem is a result of water damage. "There is a bunch of insulation in the corners and we think the water got in there and sat there for years and years."
Ash expressed concerns with the lost revenue caused by the closure of the gymnasium. "This is going to hurt us," he commented. "We are going to lose four or five thousand dollars this year."