The Clem Community Center was found damaged the morning after it had been rented out for a birthday party.
Extensive renovations to the center, which had fallen in disprepair over the years, had recently been completed.
The Carroll County Parks Department is turning the matter over to law enforcement.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office report says that Beth Parsons, manager of the center, had rented out the center for a birthday party on Friday. When she arrived at the building the next morning she noticed that the buffet serving island was pulled away from the beam that it was attached to.
Ben Skipper, director of Carroll County Parks, believes there were people at the Friday night party smoking marijuana because he discovered cigarette paper and cut-out tobacco in the bathroom trash can.
“This makes me sick because this was my first project as the department head in the parks,” said Skipper. “This facility is not even a year old since the renovation last year.”
Former District 4 county commissioner John Wilson was part of the decision to put $150,000 aside for the renovations of the center.
“I wish people would use the building with respect,” he said. “We spent a lot of time and money on it. To have people come in and disrespect the place, it ruins it for the others who wish to use it. I don’t understand it. When I was on the board we had allocated SPLOST funds to fix it up because before it was falling down.”
Skipper said one individual backed up their car onto the pavilion, that connects to the center, to unload their supplies from their trunk which left tire parks on the new wood.
“There has been the use of tape to hang banners and streamer inside and it has peeled off the paper away from the wall,” Skipper said. “We require a safety deposit to those who wish to book an event at the center but that does not mean they can skip on taking care of the facility.”
Skipper pointed out that a list of rules are placed on the refrigerator in the kitchen area of the center.
“Take out the trash and don’t leave food,” Skipper said, listing the rules. “But the most important one is to leave the facility the same as it was found. We even provide toilet paper and trashbags to people so they clean up after themselves and leave it nice for the next group.”
Skipper said the Carroll County Prison will send an inmate who can make repairs to the wall, which then will allow for a fresh coat of paint to hide the damage.
“We are not going to let the two or three bad eggs ruin this for everyone,” Skipper said. “The county is taking every step possible to ensure that those who damaged the center pay for all the damages and we want to let others know who use the facility they they must take care of it.”