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Local News

Hickory Flat Gym receives Preservation Award

History Cherokee recently awarded a Preservation Award to Cherokee County for its efforts in the restoration of the historic Hickory Flat Gymnasium.

History Cherokee held its annual Historic Preservation Awards Banquet on Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Cherokee County Conference Center on Bluffs Parkway in Canton to honor the preservation successes in the county from the previous year.

“The Historic Sites committee was impressed with the county's efforts not only to preserve the gym itself, such as the wood posts, bleachers and hardwood floors, but the extra steps they took to include the history of the Hickory Flat community as part of the renovation,” said History Cherokee Executive Director Stefanie Joyner. “By displaying historic photos and artifacts in the building, they are honoring the community and bringing life to the structure. Historic preservation isn't just about old buildings, it's also about the people who have inhabited and used them. The county did a wonderful job of preserving both the gym and the personal stories.”

In the summer of 2021, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a construction agreement with Ward Humphrey, Inc. for $1.5 million to begin renovations on the gym that fall.

“The county was excited that the Cherokee County School District agreed to partner with us and lease us the gym, which allowed us to restore the building,” said Cherokee County Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds. “The project not only preserves an important part of Hickory Flat and Cherokee

County’s history, but it also provides much needed recreation space for our residents. We look forward to preserving the building for many years to come and adding to the many stories.”

Updates to the building included structural improvements to the roof and floor, new utility services, ADA improvements for building access, restrooms and stage access, new HVAC, new roof, new cementitious board and batten siding and insulation, signage, and landscaping.

The updated facility reopened to the public in June of 2022 and currently hosts recreational programming like basketball, fitness programs, senior programs, camps, as well as special events and rentals. To learn more about the building or to inquire about hosting a special event, please contact Cherokee Recreation and Parks at (770) 924-7768 or www.playcherokee.org

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