SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - The South End Community Center has been around for more than 7 decades. But after being destroyed by the June 1st tornado, the center is finally on it's way back into the community.
The June 1st tornado destroyed a vital part of the South End, their community center. "Socio-economic this is probably the worst in the city if not Western Mass this part of the city," said Joseph Gallo, head of the board of directors of the South End Community Center.
That's why this center has become so important. Last year more than 23,000 kids took advantage of the activities there. "Definitely involved, off the streets, keep sporting equipment and educational equipment in their hands and not the ills that are going on in the community," said Chae Swan, Executive Director of the South End Community Center.
They're just tearing down the old South End Community Center now that was damaged by the June 1st tornado but that doesn't take away people's memories from the center's 73 year history.
"We would go to the community center to play soccer every night, almost every night to play indoor soccer," said Angelo Manzi, "we had a good time before."
Right now they've set up shop in their temporary office space which will house the administrative offices. It's located at the old Gemini site off of Morris Street. The new center will be open for the entire city old and young right in the heart of the South End.
This is just the first step in the rebuilding process. They hope to generate more funds and be up and running in the next two years.