Carrie Matthews Recreation Center in Northwest Decatur, which opened in 1969, has functioned as a viable city-owned and -operated facility in the Northwest community for more than five decades.

It has served the residents of Decatur in many capacities: as a recreational center offering various sports activities, a venue for community meetings and as an educational facility offering learning opportunities for residents of all ages.

My letter does not come to object to the demolition of the building; in my opinion, it would not be in the best interest of the city to make an attempt to initiate structural repairs with the understanding the foundation is not secure. I am, however, proposing the erection of a new facility bearing the name Carrie Matthews, constructed on a site with a solid foundation, which will serve the city for many years to come as its predecessor has done.

The activity experienced in the existing structure suggests and validates a facility of this nature is valued and appreciated in the Northwest community. Subsequently, it is my proposal a new site located in Northwest Decatur is identified and a new center erected.

An ideal site for consideration is the former West Court Apartment property, located in the immediate proximity of the present location — providing the soil condition and the site in general is determined a solid foundation.

This new structure will have the space and equipment to support various sports activities (basketball, handball, indoor swimming, weightlifting, etc.); in addition, it would have meeting facilities to accommodate community events and special occasions.

I am excited about this opportunity and remain optimistic city officials will give this proposal serious consideration.

William "Butch" Matthews


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