A decade of work between Statesboro and Bulloch County officials came to fruition Thursday at a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Jones-Love Cultural Center at Luetta Moore Park.
About 200 people braved intense heat for the event before going inside the new facility for tours and refreshments.
“We have some finishing touches on this building, but we’re proud and eager to acquaint you with this facility,” County Manager Tom Couch told the crowd.
Statesboro Mayor Joe Brannen and Bulloch County Commission Chairman Garrett Nevil, surrounded by a group of community leaders and members of Luetta Moore’s family, cut the ribbon for the new facility.
Bulloch County Commissioner Anthony Simmons said that after years of planning and work, he is happy to see the project coming to a close.
“We’ve been working on this for about 12 years,” Simmons said. “It’s always been one little obstacle in the way, but it all finally came together. The city got together with the county and gelled real well and here it is today.”
Statesboro resident Vera Richmond attended the ceremony Thursday. She said that she began going to the center when she was in 10th grade. Richmond said that she was happy to see the new building for the first time.
I just think that it’s great because we can now have activities here in this center and instill a legacy for Luetta Moore, who was the first director of recreation here in Statesboro,” Richmond said. “She was definitely a trailblazer here. She did a lot of work in the community.”
Richmond said that groups that she is a member of will probably use the facility for meetings.
“It gives the community a place to have community activities, to have meetings and it is a nice, updated facility,” Richmond said. “The other facility needed lots of work.”
Luetta Moore’s grandson Vincent Moore said that he spent much of his time at the facility when growing up and said that his grandmother loved improving her community.
“I know that she showed a genuine interest in kids,” Moore said. “Even now, I meet people who find out who my grandmother is and they say ‘Man, she practically raised me coming up in the parks.’”
Simmons said that there is still some work to be finished around the new facility including a parking lot and an access road. He said that the project has taken a big step with the completion of the building.
“It’s a much needed project,” Simmons said. “Like I said, I grew up over here. It almost brings you to tears. It’s a beautiful building, not only for this community but it’s a beautiful building for this county and city.”
Moore said that his first thought when entering the building was simply “wow.”
“At first, when I found out they were going to tear down the old building, I had mixed feelings because it was such a main part of this community for so long,” Moore said. “Now, that I’ve seen this I know that it was the right thing to do. There’s a time when you’ve got to move forward and this is very, very nice.”