Appalachia Rises grant helps Paintsville Recreation Center expand

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - In Johnson County, the Paintsville Recreation Center is an important part of the community, hosting weddings, city meetings, and much more throughout the entire year.

“Anything that we can offer, we try to help, this building gets utilized almost every day for some sort of event whether it be a meeting, up to like I said, a big birthday party,” Recreation Director Scott Hale said.

It’s also the center of practice for the Main Street Players, a nonprofit theater company focused on the performing arts and education in the community.

“We have a spot for every child, and what they do here is just a small part of them feeling valued and appreciated, them having their spot. That is the key with our kids,” said Jeremiah Parsons, the president and director of Main Street Players.

While the Paintsville Recreation Center looks brand new, nearly six months ago, leaders were left questioning if they could even get to this point or even open it at all.

“This building was completely under water really, it was almost four foot of water got inside,” Hale said. “I had never seen anything like that before, four foot of water inside here pretty much took everything out, it was a total loss.”

And while the community lost a space for events, this loss also meant the future of Main Street Players was in question.

“We come from all different counties, all different backgrounds, we’re an outlet for our children, that is our main concern, is how are we going to be able to handle this and how to do explain this to the children,” Parsons said.

But from tragedy comes triumph and hope. Thanks to the generosity of Kentuckians during the Appalachia Rises fundraiser, the recreation center was able to receive a grant that helped them build back stronger than ever.

“That money helped us get started with the renovations and rebuild and basically start from scratch. We’re starting over honestly, it’s really just starting over,” Hale said.

With the recreation center back open, the Main Street Players were able to practice for their first performance earlier this week at the historic Sipp Theater. Their next production comes in November with the Wizard of Oz.

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