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Taylorsville close to reality

Dr. Bruce Taylor’s vision for local children became a reality months ago, and now he has the physical work to go along with it.

Groundbreaking for Taylorville, an entertainment center that’s both children and family-friendly, took place Tuesday behind Taylor’s medical office on U.S. Highway 80.

Taylor bought 37 acres of land last year and had the idea for his center long before that. He envisioned a place where families throughout the Black Belt could enjoy themselves, but he wants it to be more than that.

“I’m looking forward to this,” Taylor said. “It’s called Taylorville Family Entertainment Center, but we have a sub name, and we call it the City of Hope. We’ve already had some preliminary talks to tie in some things with the school systems around here to make this a part of their integrated education.”

The center will include laser tag, four party rooms, a nine-hole indoor miniature golf course and two outdoor gazebos.

There will also be space to add more attractions if needed.

“We’re trying to appeal to a younger audience, so we’re making it a visually exciting building,” said Greg Kamback with Bird & Kamback Architects LLC in Huntsville. “The inside is flexible so that if things change over time people can adapt to it. Other than that, the activities are unique with the mix of games, laser tag, party rooms and concessions.”

Taylor didn’t discriminate against the older crowd, however. When it opens next year, the center will be able to hold a variety of events.

“We’ll have a couple of outside gazebos to accommodate large gatherings,” Taylor said. “One will accommodate 150 people, and the other one will hold 50. We actually have one potential booking for a class reunion. Family reunions are actually why we planned the gazebo, but we’ll be able to accommodate any large group of people.”

Taylorville was originally scheduled to begin operation in May, but Taylor and Kamback said things are possibly on track for a late March or early April grand opening.

As far as some are concerned, it can’t open soon enough.

“I think it’s an awesome concept and much needed,” said the Rev. Gary Crum, pastor of Ellwood Community Baptist Church. “People often have to travel so far, and with the price of gas and things of that nature, I think it’s going to be an opportunity for families to get together and have some wholesome entertainment.”