Fayette County

Vice mayor appoints task force on Charles Young Community Center

Vice Mayor Linda Gorton announced a task force on Wednesday to examine the future of the Charles Young Community Center, a priority among neighbors who participated in creating the East End Small Area Development Plan.

The community center on East Third Street, which has been vacant for several years, had played an important role in the neighborhood, Gorton said, and residents have strong feelings about helping determine its future.

In recent weeks, Councilman Chris Ford, who represents the area, introduced a resolution asking the city to seek federal grant money to set up a Head Start program and day care in the building. Ford later withdrew the resolution.

The center is in an area, generally bounded by East Third Street, Midland Avenue and Ann and Corral streets, that some hope to redevelop. When a plan was announced recently, some neighbors said they wanted a chance for input on what happens to the Charles Young Center.

Billie Mallory, president of William Wells Brown Neighborhood Association, said the task force was "a great idea. I think it will create a body of people who are going to be objective (in looking at) what happens to the center."

The city owns the center, which has hosted social events, meetings and educational opportunities in the historically black neighborhood.

Ford will be chairman of the 13-member task force that includes Mallory; council members Steve Kay and Peggy Henson; Seedleaf executive director Ryan Koch; and Thomas Tolliver, a community volunteer with the Isaac Murphy Memorial Art Garden.