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Transitioning into a different facility, after school program in Bluefield

CITY OF BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) Thirty-seven kids are enrolled in the after school program in Bluefield and for some kids, they’re getting use to being at a new location, The Bluefield Fitness & Recreation Center.

The City of Bluefield Parks and Recreation After-School Program use to take place at the Herb Sims Center on Stadium Drive, until ownership of the center changed last month.

The program is now taking place at the Bluefield Fitness & Recreation Center on College Avenue.

“We’ve been here about three weeks,” said Shannon Lowe, Youth Development Director for the City of Bluefield Parks and Recreation Department. “At the recreation center, we’re able to offer the kids swimming and more gym time, plus different activities then we could offer at the Herb Sims Center.”

“Although they now have a much smaller area for homework and snack time, the rec center and their employees have been very hospitable to the kids and parents. We are truly thankful the program wasn’t terminated as a whole. It’s truly a beneficial program for our community.” Nancy George, Parent of seven-year-old in the program

The City of Bluefield is leasing the Herb Sims Center to Bluefield College, to help make up a loss of $750,000, the majority of that loss is due to the transitioning of ownership from Bluefield Regional Medical Center to Princeton Community Hospital.

The Herb Sims Center costs the city $50,000 per year and leasing out the space to Bluefield College saves the city about  $90,000.

Bluefield College President David Olive previously stated, signage will be placed at the Herb Sims Center reflecting it’s new name, the ‘Herb Sims Wellness Center.’

Watch the video above to see how kids in the after school program are spending their time inside of the recreation center.

Jennifer Roberts

Multimedia Journalist

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