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September 13, 2017 10:04 PM

Trent Gym Falling Apart; Community Coming Together To Repair

Trent, SD

After 57 years, the old Trent gym needs some updates. 

The City of Trent has about $8,000 in the budget for the community center, but that includes utilities and any other yearly costs.

The town of 200 is working together to make up the difference it will cost to keep this place in working condition for years to come by fundraising through an auction and a cook out in the next few months. 

Bernie Scherff didn't write the book on Trent History.

"I got it in 1986," Scherff said.

She's lived it. 

"It's not very thick, but it tells about all the different events in Trent," Trent resident Bernie Scherff said.

Her husband was in the first class to graduate here at the Trent Community Center. 

"In 1960...whoops. That's telling how old he is," Scherff said. 

It's been a long time since anyone has handed out a diploma in this place. 
 
"Original everything in here," Scherff said. 

Tin siding an a new roof are the newest additions at the Trent Community Center, but city officials say the inside remains almost exactly in its original condition. 

"Yep, we haven't changed much. But Matt's going to change it and try to improve it," Scherff said. 

"Well, after getting on the council, a lot of people contacted me and said hey, we really need to do something with the gym," Trent City Councilman Matt Larson said. 

It's the only place in Trent for people to meet. 

"It'll look virtually the same. We're not going to move walls or anything or remodel. It'll look the same, but it will just be a lot fresher," Larson said. 

Larson says this old gym needs to be repaired sooner rather than later. 

"It's such a neat building and it serves the community so well, but it's just to the point where it really needs upgrading," Larson said. 

The almost 60 year old ceiling is showing its age, and workers need to make bathrooms handicapped-accessible, and graffiti free. The electricity in the kitchen shorts out far too often. 

"I called a few people, and the number of people that showed up and wanted the gym improved and to help, was just amazing," Larson said. 

Matt Larson says the town has backed him. 

"Just blows me away. You ask people to help, and they just say 'yes,' we'll be there," Larson said. 

So this place can be in a next generation's history book. 

To give you an idea of what Larson means by community support: he had a meeting with an electrician today.

When Larson mentioned bidding out the project...the electrician said there'd be no bid.

All their work throughout the whole project will be on the house. 

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