TIPTON, Iowa — Two empty buildings in Tipton could solve the need for a gym for community athletic programs.

A proposal was presented this week to the Tipton City Council by Adam Spangler, Tipton recreation director, and Duane Webb, school board president.

The buildings on West Sixth Street were built for the S&C machine shop, which became Cummins Manufacturing Inc. and relocated to Tipton’s industrial park.

One building has 60 by 80 feet of useable space, while the other measures 70 by 70 feet and has higher ceilings suitable for volleyball. Both have heat and bathrooms. Outdoor spaces of 90 by 100 feet and 70 by 70 feet would allow future expansion.

Spangler showed a sample of flooring suitable for basketball that could be installed over the concrete. Webb said volunteer work has been offered to convert the space for athletics.

Spangler noted he is happy to have so many children enrolled in community athletic programs, but said the remodeling of the Tipton High School auditorium has made the shortage of gym space more serious. School play and concert practices and performances have moved to the middle school gym, making the school’s 1925 gym less available for community use.

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Spangler said the Bennett school gym, which also has been used, is also less available. Bennett now charges $10 for each use, and other groups have reserved it for many of the hours youth practices and games can be scheduled.

Some residents have asked for a recreation center, which is a goal of the council. Chris Nosbisch, city manager, called the proposal a possibility and said a grant may be available to help with costs because of the emphasis on combatting childhood obesity. Terry Goerdt, city building inspector, will check the facility.