PHILLIPS – The ZONE Youth Activities Center, for youth of Phillips, Avon and Madrid, has established a new board of directors who are making tracks to a larger mission.

The Phillips American Legion is in the process of turning over the “Old Gym” to the ZONE in order to resurrect an equipped community center for all ages.

The gym brings back memories as the Sandy River Narrow Gauge Railroad maintenance building. “As we flip through the pictures, this building once housed trains. The tracks actually passed right through the building in order to facilitate repair and maintenance to the train engines and cars,” said Jill Berry Bowen, board co-chairwoman.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to build a theme around this gym surrounding its history. We are hopeful that this project will open its way to plenty of grants to create a multipurpose center for all members of the three-town community.”

The board is in the process of finalizing bylaws, articles of incorporation and restating the mission to encompass the new growth plan.

A community survey was conducted as part of the Phillips master plan and townspeople indicated they missed having a meeting house or community center. The building was once used for community activities and events as well as school sporting events. Currently the building is used for storage. The gymnasium floor remains intact.

“There is a lot of preparation to do,” said David Robie of Madrid, co-chairman. “We have several subcommittees set up to address physical structure and building plans, grant funding, community support, program development, and to capture all the events leading up to this day and the development of this community center we have a historian to pull the pieces together.”

Anyone wishing to be a part of a subcommittee or to learn more about the ZONE’s plans to create a community center, contact Gillian Trapp at 639-4060 or Jill Berry Bowen at 639-4466.

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