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Decommissioning ceremony for the M.N. (Jug) Brown Center set for Wednesday

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The center has served the city for nearly 64 years.

The community will have an opportunity to bid a fond farewell Wednesday to an iconic structure that was the central focus of the Enterprise Parks and Recreation program for almost 64 years.

A decommissioning ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. June 22 at the M.N. (Jug) Brown Recreation Center at 421 E. Lee St., which has been vacant for several months as preparations for demolition are being made. A new, modern recreational complex will be constructed on the grounds where the building now stands. Construction is expected to begin within a few months on new and upgraded facilities, which will include swimming pools.

The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. inside the Recreation Center, with remarks by Mayor William E. Cooper, Community Services and Recreation Director Billy Powell and a representative of the Jug Brown family, for whom the building was named.

“We invite everyone to attend this bittersweet ceremony, where we will pay tribute to a building that led a life of its own as host to generations of people enjoying recreational activities and sports within its walls,” Cooper said. “We want to remember the traditions started here, the relationships created and the people who made this program work for so many years.”

Cooper said the ceremony is also a celebration for all that took place in the building for many years—the joy, the spirit of competition and the pride that was expressed.

“We celebrate the ideas that were born, the plans made, and all the work that led to successful activities promoting fitness, exercising the body and mind and the ensuring that people could enjoy fun-filled events and the beauty of nature at all of the city’s park locations,” Cooper said.

He said the building has served its purpose well and although the upcoming demolition of the building is sad, but it is time to move forward to upgrade and expand services.

“Exciting times are ahead,” Cooper said. “The site where the building now stands will be home to a new, larger and more modern facility. Like the Jug Brown Center, it will serve citizens for decades to come, and we look forward to opening the doors on the new center within the next couple of years.”

Daily operations of the Parks and Recreation Department are taking place at the Enterprise Civic Center.

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