Larry Joe Harless Community Center
This Mingo County community center was funded by June and Buck Harless in the memory of their son, Larry Joe Harless, who dreamed of being able to establish a youth center for the community. The center opened in 1999 after two years of construction and is located in the small community of Gilbert in a section of West Virginia that has historically been home to coal mining and related industries. The center is a 55,000 square foot facility which offers a plethora of recreational activities including swimming and access to a gym. The center also houses a small clinic and the community's local history archive.
Backstory and Context
Larry Joe Harless passed away in 1995 before seeing his dreams of a youth center come to fruition. To honor his memory, however, his mother and father contributed the full construction cost of their son's dream community center and named the project the Larry Joe Harless Community Center (LJHCC). Construction on the project began in 1997 and was finished just under two years later in 1999. The 55,000 square foot brick and limestone building is located in the center of the town of Gilbert. The organization is supported by community donations and contributions.
Today, the center offers residents access to a swimming pool, basketball court, and gym in addition housing a small movie theater and hosting several art displays. More recently, the center has begun focusing more on the legacy and health of the town of Gilbert. The center is now home to a health clinic as well as the Gilbert Area Historical Collection.
History Collection. LJHCC.org. Accessed July 26, 2019. http://www.ljhcc.org/history.
About the Center. LJHCC.org. Accessed July 26, 2019. http://www.ljhcc.org/about.