Century Seeks About $13 Million To Fix Bridges, Rebuild Old CHS Gym. But The Gym May Be A Problem.

March 23, 2023

The town of Century is moving forward with applications for nearly $13 million in grants to renovate an old gym and to make bridge and drainage repairs. But there are several big “ifs” on the gym project.

A $10,015,000 grant award would be used to rebuild the old Century High School gymnasium for use as a multipurpose facility that could also serve as a hurricane or other disaster shelter. Century High closed over 25 years ago; the 16,500 square foot building was constructed in 1960.

Town consultant Robin Phillips, who in managing the grant submissions, said the gym is laden with asbestos and lead. It has been essentially abandoned for years, and is in poor condition. For those reasons, Phillips said an architect is recommending that the building be demolished and rebuilt.

And the biggest problem may be the fact that the Town of Century does not own the building; it is owned by Pensacola State College. Phillips said the college would either have to be a co-applicant for the grant, or transfer ownership to the town.

The town will also seek $2,862,137 in grant money to replace a failed bridge on Freedom Road that has been closed for three years, and make drainage improvements to two other bridges that suffered embankment erosion during Hurricane Sally.

In order to score higher on their grant applications, the town council voted this week to contribute up to $7,500 of town funds per project if the grants are received.

The funding, if awarded, would be from Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Small Cities Hurricane Sally Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funding. through the Rebuild Florida Infrastructure Repair Program.

NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


12 Responses to “Century Seeks About $13 Million To Fix Bridges, Rebuild Old CHS Gym. But The Gym May Be A Problem.”

  1. sam on March 26th, 2023 7:10 am

    the bridge is needed, the gym, you gotta be kidding.

  2. Confused on March 23rd, 2023 11:55 pm

    Century is a joke. All that money they ask for on different projects and are granted the money…. But century looks the same. Board members are taking that money and putting it in their pockets

  3. Melanie on March 23rd, 2023 7:55 pm

    The freedom road bridge does need to be fixed. Like most things the longer it’s in disrepair the higher the cost will probably be to repair/replace.

    The gym isn’t a priority in my eyes at this time.

    The fire hydrant at my house that has been steadily leaking for several years and is leaning over is to me. We don’t know if it works correctly. The entire curbside in front of my house is a cesspool especially as it gets warmer.
    I have reported this issue many times via calls and emails.
    Since we are in the historical district I would think it would be taken seriously since these houses would probably go up like kindling but it never has.

    *The excuse a couple years ago was that they would have to turn the water off to the entire neighborhood(I don’t remember how long that was but several days), post boil water notices in our utility bills, bring in heavy equipment,rocks and sand.
    *The latest excuse was that the parts are on backorder(this was months ago). They had the parts for a fire hydrant a few streets away a couple months ago after it was hit.

    Regardless it shouldn’t take years to fix.
    I haven’t posted it on social media before because that’s not me. I give the benefit of the doubt and take people at their word. I shouldn’t have to fight this hard for something that should have been done after the first call.

  4. G.Miler on March 23rd, 2023 12:50 pm

    Follow the money. Who would benefit from this besides the public? Which company or companies would benefit from the construction of such a building? The insurance on an expensive building will definitely not be cheap.

  5. Well on March 23rd, 2023 11:20 am

    Maybe for the Bridge.
    But I wonder about the city’s Local Option Sales Tax money

  6. RaD on March 23rd, 2023 10:06 am

    @Chris….Century isn’t the only place money is being poured into worthless projects, it happens all over Florida and the country. People will argue this is grant money or it doesn’t affect their property or sales taxes so why care but money doesn’t just pop into existence. If the government just prints it, it devalues everyone’s money. Grants may be funded from companies who are being punished, companies whose products now cost more, which trickle down to the consumer.

    The first question is, does Century, as a town of 1500 people, need another multipurpose/hurricane/disaster shelter. The answer is probably no. But if that is yes, then the question is, should we dump $11M into this facility to bring it up to code. The answer to that is NO. Building a new building, if needed, is the only thing that makes economic sense.

  7. Swamp Gas on March 23rd, 2023 9:57 am

    Attention Pens State Collage. Here is your opportunity to unload an asbestos and led filled building and walk away from this future headache.

  8. Bob on March 23rd, 2023 9:46 am

    Century is the place where the circus is always in town and never leaves…

    Century makes the Escambia County School District look like brain surgeons!

  9. J-THE-G on March 23rd, 2023 9:26 am

    @Chris You’re assuming that most of the money will even be used on the projects anyways. The entire town is corrupt and should have its charter revoked ASAP.

  10. SW on March 23rd, 2023 9:23 am

    @Chris: exactly!

    Just leave it alone. Let PSC keep it.

    Fix the bridge.

  11. judy on March 23rd, 2023 8:38 am

    So much infrastructure needs fixing, yet they want o restore an old gym so it, too, can be vandalized… :(

  12. Chris on March 23rd, 2023 7:32 am

    Century:where money is poured into useless and failing things.