EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - The public will get their first look inside the brand new $4.5 million gym in Effingham County this weekend.
But first WTOC was able to get a sneak peak inside the 30,000 square foot facility and hear from the man whose vision has now been brought to life.
“When you walk in here and see this what’s the feeling?” I asked Effingham County Recreation Director Clarence Morgan.
“I doubt if words can describe it,” he responded.
It’s a rare thing for Morgan to be speechless, because admittedly he’s seen quite a bit in his time.
“I’ve been involved with rec sports for 55 years,” Morgan says.
But as he watched the transformation of this gym in less than a year’s time even he couldn’t believe his eyes.
“When you see the finished product it’s just unreal.”
While Clarence never dreamt this would become a reality, for those working alongside him, like County Manager Tim Callanan, there was never really another option.
“The last thing you want to do is disappoint Clarence.”
And it’s safe to say they didn’t.
“The finished product just exceeding everything,” Morgan said.
Which is good news for him, and the county.
“You know, when you’ve got a first-class facility like this it impresses people. It kind of puts us on their radar,” said Callanan.
Although to some it may seem like just a gym, to Clarence it’s much more.
It’s a starting point, a beginning for all who walk through the front doors.
“Our future is kids. Some may be Governor, some may be President, but we are building the backbone.”
So, even though it’s Morgan’s name is on the complex, as he’s quick to tell you, it’s not about him.
“It hasn’t been Clarence. It don’t belong to Clarence, it’s the people of Effingham’s. The people of Effingham made me what I am.”
Humble, accomplished, and he says not done yet.
“Clarence ain’t going nowhere no time soon. I’m 74 and I hope to hang around 4 or 5 more years, good Lord willing.”
The gym will start hosting rec basketball mid-November, which is well ahead of their original schedule.
If you’d like to see the gym for yourself you can stop by their ribbon cutting Sunday at 3 p.m.