Vinton residents reminisce about gym, demolished this week

VINTON, LA (KPLC) - There it stands, and there it falls.

Crews in Vinton tore down the gym at Vinton Elementary School this week.

With the demolition of the building comes the outpouring of memories from residents and alumni.

"I went to school here up through junior high. My class was actually when we got to the 8th grade we were the first freshman class to go to the new high school," said Rickey Watson.

Watson remember his elementary school years at Vinton and the significance of the gym.

"This is where I played my junior high basketball, did all my PE classes, this is where I was hot during the warm weather and really cold when it was cold," he said.

The gym is so old, it's difficult for city officials to pinpoint the exact date it was built. But residents remember that for decades, the building was more than just a gym.

"It was stable and the most strongest structures in this town because years ago it was used for a shelter when there was a storm coming people would come and stay in this building for safety so you know it was very safe and secure to other places we have," he said.

According to Vinton Mayor Kenny Stinson, the building will be replaced with an updated facility. But for people like Watson, a new building won't be able to replace the countless memories.

"You have good memories and bad but I have a lot of good memories in this gym and I just wanted to be here today to see what was going on and just a memory thing ... It just brings back memories," he said.

There is no word yet on when the new facility will be complete.

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