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Galena Park Residents Think Their Community Center Remains Closed Due To Race

The citizens who live in the area have reached out to their mayor, but they say she won’t respond.

One the front door of Evelyn J. Churchill Community Center there is a laminated piece that reads, “As of August 24, per the Fire Chief and Parks and Recreation Department, this building will be temporarily closed until further notice.”

The community center is outlined with rose bushes and sits on a nicely groomed lawn in Galena Park.

It is also in a predominantly black neighborhood.

At first, it was closed because of problems with the emergency exit and water leaks. But now after being closed without A/C for months, there’s mold.

Eric Broussard is with the Parks and Recreation department for Galena Park. He has been trying to facilitate the necessary repairs, but says the mayor is the reason for the hold up.

“Even after the Fire Marshall closed it, the city still refused, the mayor still refused allowed me to do the repairs,” says Broussard. 

Three miles away on the east side of Galena Park there is a larger community center in a predominantly white neighborhood.

But it isn’t as accessible for the elderly on the west side where Paul Winfield lives.

He remembers when the community center first opened in the 1950s.

“That building is an everyday user for the senior citizens in Galena Manor, and the senior citizens happen to be African American,” says Winfield. 

We’ve reached out to the Galena Park Mayor’s Office, but didn’t receive a response before deadline.

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