William McDowell and Gladys Knight to Open Community Center in Canton

February 28th, 2017
Local News
Hannah Ensley, Editor-in-Chief

Gladys Knight, known as the “empress of soul,” and her husband William “Billy” McDowell, a Canton native, are set to open a community center in the old Reynolds High School off Holtzclaw road. The community center will span across 20,000 square feet (7 acres) and will cost approximately $4-5 million dollars to build. The couple, who now live locally, hope to have the project completed sometime in 2019. The center will consists of a gymnasium, a music room, an athletic field, a welcome table, a child care area, a kitchen, a dining room and food pantry, a computer center and library, a gymnasium, a performing arts room, an exercise room, and a walking track and nature path. The informational packet that was handed out at the publicity event I attended Tuesday morning states that “The Reynolds Community Center will offer residents an affordable place for people to exercise, enjoy nature, learn new skills, meet new people and create a real sense of community.” At the event, I spoke with Mrs. Gladys Knight, who stressed the importance of instilling in young people a strong sense of community. “Young people today have had so many negatives in their presence and their environment.” She said. “To me, we have to do our job of ridding this generation, and the ones that come after it [of that negativity.] To get back to what is good for the communities, for the country, for the world. It all begins with each one of us, and each one of you.” The Knight-McDowells hope to do their part to give back to the community through this project. If you are interested in getting involved with the project, you can visit www.rhs-foundation.com to find more information.


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