Letter to the Editor: Pete Allen

Neighborhood Facility Dedication

Thank You to Curt Shankel

It seems like only yesterday that the neighborhood facility was built, but it was over 48 years ago that it was dedicated to the people of Ft. Scott, built by the city using federal (Urban Renewal Agency) funding. The funding would be 67% federal and 33% local.

Up to this point of time the YMCA (a public-funded endeavor), was the go-to place for activities. The “Y” was built in 1908 with funds raised by donations from citizens, businesses, and the railroads. Another fund-raiser was completed in 1909 that raised $16,000 for furnishings and equipment. Judge Harry Fisher pointed out that the facility was supported in all aspects, not just financially, by a “generous giving of the community”.,

The bowling alley was one of the most used features of the project, and after WW 2, twenty teams played there weekly. Many days there were over 100 lines played. As late as 1950, over 30 organizations used the “Y” as their meeting place.

By the mid 1950’s, the building had been used, and used, and used. The community had extracted more use out of it than the farsighted board members and designers had anticipated back in 1908. The “Y’s” facilities were deteriorating, and the cost to renovate would be expensive, so the board began searching for other avenues. It was learned in early 1968 that funds could be made available to build a new center in Fs. Scott through Urban Renewal and HUD. The “Y” board contacted the city, who in turn, appointed the association to investigate. The “Y” Board began analyzing the current needs of the community to determine the best use of the facility. By 1972, HUD had agreed to the new proposal, which included selling the “Y” building to Urban Renewal for $135.000. That was then turned over to the city for the City’s share of the Neighborhood Facility and with that action taken, the new Facility was on the way, and we owe a debt of gratitude to the “Y” Board for their unselfish efforts to keep a first-class facility in Fort Scott. Thank you, thank you to Curt Shankel, President of the Board, 1972, and to the other members of a special group of people. What an effort to pull all this together!

Pete Allen



One thought on “Letter to the Editor: Pete Allen”

  1. Very nice letter, Pete. It’s good to remember that Fort Scott had a lot of people pitching in over the years to help things along.

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