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Pelham Opens the Donnie Cochran Community Complex

The 2008 Mitchell County Comprehensive plan for the City of Pelham in the Community Facilities section cites a need for a community center to be developed in Pelham. The Donnie Cochran Community Complex has addressed that need. In the Northwest corner of Pelham, was a fully functional jail facility failing to meet expectations, ad which subsequently closed. The City Manager and Mayor began to discuss the possibility of transforming the jail facility into a community center and Council voted unanimously to dedicate the funds and labor to the project.

Utilizing inmate labor, and by selling or donating surplus materials from the facility, the complex was brought to life. Named for the first African American Blue Angel pilot, The Donnie Cochran Community Complex was named for that former resident of Pelham and dedicated in July of 2016. Today, this complex is being used for multiple activities: GED courses provided by the Southern Regional Technical College, a daycare center for local families, churches and civic organizations rent the facility, and individuals are utilizing the complex for gatherings. The successful Donnie Cochran Community Complex overhaul and operation was a cooperative effort between The City, the Pelham Police Department, Pelham Public Works and Pelham Housing Authority. The group leveraged funds in house and gained the support of the entire community. The community support of the transformation was celebrated in social media posts, advanced rentals, and through attendance at the dedication ceremony. It is a local success of the best kind.


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