Fairbanks Community Center is a place for families, youth, and the community of Sullivan County. Originally opened as Fairbanks School in 1910, the building is full of historic details and stories. Even though the school often had a graduating class of less than 15 everyone in the area knows someone that attended Fairbanks. In 1990 North Central High School in Farmersburg added a junior high and the little community school was closed. After the school closed, it sat for some time, but there was always an underlying vision in the community to have children once again playing in the building. Many a rough road was traveled, years and people have come and gone, but the dream continued to live on in the hearts of the volunteers who have sought to make that dream a successful reality.
What really brought the center into focus was when The L.I.F.T organization was awarded a grant from the Office of Rural and Community Affairs in 2007. The organization raised 5% matching funds in order to receive the grant and signed on to a five-year contract to keep the center open or the funds had to be repaid. All the grant funds were distributed through the office of the Sullivan County Commissioners. Since the building had been standing since 1901 there were substantial repairs that needed to be made in order for the center to be up to code. The heating was updated by adding a corn burner to replace the propane heater and cooling systems were all upgraded as well. ADA accessible doors were installed along with a ramp, a new septic system, as well as a fire alarm system and smoke detectors. New electric exit signs and emergency lights were also necessary. Tuck pointing was also done on the outside bricks around the gymnasium on 3 sides. One of the most obvious changes was a beautiful brand new gym floor.
Even though many critical updates were made, the struggle of maintaining a structure with such history is daunting. There is no paid personnel, it is run solely by volunteers. There are always jobs that need to be done and maintenance that must take place. We are always looking for ways to generate income to simply pay the expenses in order to keep the facility running. So if you or your family believe that a community center like this is beneficial to the community we would love to have your support. Please join us to share in the vision to make Fairbanks Community Center a lasting place for our community to enjoy.