A Brief History
The Sewanee Community Center was founded in 2002 by the Cumberland Center for Peace and Justice. The building had served as the Sewanee Youth Center for many years, but had recently closed its operations. CCJP spent the next three years making seriously needed repairs to the building and assessing community needs for the center. They sponsored the Sewanee Music Festival from 2003 to 2005 to raise money to support the center, and also accepted donations from individuals. By 2005 the center was seeing increased usage of its space, but still needed more general repairs and updating. CCJP decided that, for long-term sustainability, it would be helpful to establish an independent board of local citizens to run the center. The new board drew up by-laws in 2006 and has been running the center from that time forward. Funding was increased through a yearly grant from the Sewanee Community Chest and further updates have been made including new windows and a commercial kitchen. A part-time manager was also hired to handle the increased day-to-day management of the center.
Who We Serve and Fees
Our service area is Sewanee and the surrounding area, and we are open to all individuals and groups who wish to use the center’s space. There is no fee for those who do not charge a fee for attending an event, and a fee of $7 an hour is assessed for those who are charging for their classes.
The center is currently serving around 850 to 950 individuals per month. Around 25 hours of classes and groups are scheduled each week, and the center is being used 7 days a week during both daytime and evening hours. Around 200 to 225 individuals use the center each week. The center makes every effort to meet scheduling requests for the building.
The Community Center operates on a budget of around $10000 per year. Additional money spent on repairs to the building has been raised by donations and fundraisers. Our primary source of funding has been the Community Chest with user fees and donations filling the remaining annual budget needs. This year we were awarded $4,000 from the Community Chest.
Large main room-1000 square feet of space, some of which is used as storage, allows for large groups to shape the space as they desire. Tables and chairs are available if needed, but the room is left empty as the majority of our groups use it that way.
Small office– This space was recently updated and outfitted for small group meetings, classes or counseling sessions.
Commercial kitchen-175 square feet of space with a large refrigerator, three compartment sink and stainless steel worktables is available. Individuals have been certified to use this space for commercial production of baking and jelly making.
Outdoor playground and green space– The playground equipment is available for children of all ages, and the additional green space can be used for picnics or parties. We maintain this structure as we are able with limited funds.
Basketball court- The outdoor basketball court is currently in need of repairs.
Parking Lot- Room for 15–20 cars or a large delivery truck.
Handicap Accessibility is available through the Sewanee Senior’s Center
Current Board Members
Chuck Morgret, Treasurer
Alexis Murphy, Secretary