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Ideas sought to keep Longhill Center open

Officers of Longhill Community Development Inc. are planning an open meeting for all members of the Longhill community in an effort to seek support, ideas and input on ways to keep the Longhill Community Center open and available to the community.

A special meeting is planned for Monday evening, Jan. 6, beginning at 7 p.m. with all residents of the community invited to attend. Discussion will be focused on meeting the funding needs of the community center. After officers provide a description of the current situation and what is needed for the building to continue to be available, those attending will be invited to share thoughts and views on potential ways to provide needed resources.

The Longhill Community Center is located at 161 Community Building Road in the Longhill community of Pilot Mountain, adjacent to the Ararat community.

According to Judy Wood, secretary of Longhill Community Development, the non-profit corporation was started in October of 1962 to own and oversee the Longhill Community Center. Land was donated for the building of the center, with numerous Longhill residents donating time, money and materials toward its construction.

“If you reside in the Longhill community, you are a member of the corporation,” Wood said. “You are welcomed and encouraged to attend its meetings and to help keep this building open.”

Wood describes the corporation’s purpose as “to hold title to, own and maintain a community building, to furnish members means and opportunities for social interaction, mental improvement and recreation and to organize, conduct and carry on various plans and efforts for the well being and improvement of members and the community in which they live.”

For 57 years the center has served as a hub for the community, with individuals, families, groups, clubs and civic organizations using the facility as a place to come together. Rentals have helped with necessary expenses, including maintenance and improvements. Through their support with donations and volunteer efforts to maintain the center, community groups have also played a vital role in the center’s continued existence.

Wood explained that community groups such as the Senior Citizens’ Club, the Longhill Extension Club and the Ararat-Longhill Ruritan Club had consistently supported the center over the years, providing a steady stream of needed contributions. With those groups having disbanded due to an aging membership, she said, the income of funds is now insufficient to operate the center on a long-term basis.

“If you live in the Longhill Township,” Wood emphasized, “you are an eligible voting member and your input and support is needed. We’ve been able to make some repairs but the building is getting old and the heating and air conditioning are both older. It’s going to need maintenance.”

“We estimate it’s going to take $3,000 a year to keep it going and we have about $1,500 coming in. We’ve had some donations that will help us in the short term but, long term, we’re in trouble.”

She noted that a group of Longhill Community Development officers and members are working on a marketing plan for the center with hopes of seeing a significant increase in rentals and support. The center is available year-round for individual and group rentals, for parties, reunions, business conferences and meetings at a cost of $60. Anyone interested in renting the facility may call 336-368-2127.

“This is a good place for the community to come together for whatever reason,” Wood said. “It’s where we all vote and it’s a good meeting place. It has plenty of room and a great view of Pilot Mountain. It’s just a nice neighborhood place.”

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The Longhill Community Center will be the focus of a Jan. 6 meeting as ways are sought to develop long-term support for the facility. Longhill Community Center will be the focus of a Jan. 6 meeting as ways are sought to develop long-term support for the facility.
Community meeting set for Jan. 6

By Dean Palmer

Special to the News



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