• 55°

Ribbon cut for Parish Life Center

Students, residents gathered Friday for event

A ribbon cutting took place this past Friday for the new Ironton Catholic Community Parish Life Center outside of St. Joseph, ahead of the first basketball games to be played in the new Flyer Dome inside.

Ralph Kline, with the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization and a member of the Ironton Catholic Community, gave a welcome to the crowd before local boy scouts presented the colors and Father David Huffman said a prayer and spoke a little bit about the project.

“I came here a little over 10 years ago, and we started to dream about things that would re-energize our churches and our schools,” Huffman said. “About three years ago, we began to think a little more seriously. We went to Ralph Kline about forming a committee with people from the churches, schools and the community.”

From there, the group began plans for the new center, which would include a much-needed gymnasium for St. Joe High School’s sports teams, a bereavement room, kitchen and more.

“I’m proud to stand in front of you today as your pastor,” Huffman said. “And God has given  us this day to celebrate what we’ve accomplished.

A few other speakers at the event included Mark Dickess, with the city of Ironton, who spoke on behalf of Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith, and John Mullins, owner of Mullins Construction Company, of Wheelersburg, the company that built the building.

“Whenever we take on a project, I always keep track of them, but I took a special interest in this place,” he said. “I have a grandson taking the court here in about four hours, so it does mean a lot to me.”

Shirley Dyer, with the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, also presented Fr. Huffman with certificates from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, as well as one from the chamber itself, as part of the ceremony.

Following the cutting of the ribbon, the Parish Life Center was opened, where many residents got their first look inside of the building.

Later Friday evening, both the St. Joseph High School boys and girls basketball teams earned victories in the Flyer Dome.