BY: Holly Emery, WLBT, March 13, 2023
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) – The highly anticipated sportsplex located next to New Horizon Church in Jackson is finally complete and ready for you and your family to check out.
New Horizon Church in Jackson has been working for months to finish the state-of-the-art sports complex facility so you and your family can have somewhere safe and fun to go.
“They can come in [and] have a great time when the kids know when you come here in The Ark, it’s a safe place where you can enjoy yourself,” Executive Director of Ministries at New Horizon Church, Ronnie Crudup Jr. said.
The 110,000-square-foot building was previously a Sam’s Club Warehouse. However, after the church bought the sitting building back in May last year, they quickly transformed it into something Jackson natives like Charles Louis have waited for.
“I’ve been dreaming about it since about 2012. Just growing up here, and they believed in the vision, they believed in what we saw, and gave us the opportunity,” Louis explained.
Using $500,000 worth of donations and church funds, this part of the facility includes a rock-climbing wall, three full basketball courts, a boxing area, and more.
“You could just come here and hang out with a couple of friends. You know, you don’t have to just shoot, you know, play basketball. So you can just come in, watch or just hang out,” 17-year-old Katelyn Brinkley said.
“A lot of stuff on this side of town, like in Jackson, be getting robbed and stuff, so I didn’t expect nothing this big to be over here where the high crime rate at. But Charles is trying to change the narrative. It makes me feel good being from my hometown,” 16-year-old Keijuan Mangum explained.
As youth crime plagues the capital city, coaches, children, and members hope this will put kids on the right path.
“The biggest part of the violence is nothing to do. You’re bored, idle mind. If we can give them something to do, that’s less time in the streets where they can, you know, be doing a crime. You could be in here. We have Friday night hoops where we may stay here to midnight, two in the morning, and hopefully, you’re too tired to be, you know, ready to go get in trouble,” Louis said.
Admission is $5, and “open play” dates will be posted on this website.
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