Edgewood Park neighborhood still waiting for city to replace community gym

February 19, 2013 4:43:37 PM PST
A community in southeast Houston says it was expecting a new place for families to exercise, but so far, they're still waiting.

Some residents are asking city council why nothing has been done to replace a community gym the city tore down last year. As Eyewitness News found out, it's because the city can't use the federal dollars it had budgeted to rebuild.

There is a consensus about the old community gym at Edgewood Park off Bellfort.

"Something was falling down in there or something," said Essie Coleman, a resident who wants a new gym.

"I could see it really wasn't safe," another pro-gym resident, Alberta Baker, said. "It was like you know it might fall on you or something."

When the city demolished that old gym last year, few people were sad to see it go. But what people in the neighborhood around Edgewood Park aren't happy about is this:

"Then they said well we're going to rebuild it, you know?" Coleman said. "But they didn't."

Some exercise equipment is stacked in the park's community center now, but there is no indoor basketball court and no place for fitness classes.

A number of people who used to go to the Edgewood Park gym spoke out to Houston City Council on Tuesday.

"The funds were allocated. They were already allocated. We had a big sign up there saying how much money was supposed to have been spent," Dorothy Dawson said.

The problem with the money, according to city hall, is that the park itself lies in a flood plain

"Because the gym was in a flood plain, we are prohibited from using federal dollars," Mayor Annise Parker said.

We talked to Wanda Adams, who represents the district, about why a new gym hasn't been built.

"We have discussed some plans on what we can do, but right now it's all about the funding," Adams said.

There was no decision Tuesday and no timeline put in place; just a promise:

"From my understanding," Adams said, "it will get built."

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