The City of Decatur has been working about eight months on the renovation of the city recreation center, but waited until Friday to hold a groundbreaking.
That seemed a convenient time, since all the city commissioners and the senior city staff members had assembled to leave for a weekend planning retreat in Helen.
The commissioners, staff and members of the Active Living board walked around the building and looked at the work so far.
The rec center was built in 1955 and served as home court for the Decatur High basketball team until a few years ago, when the school built an on-campus gym.
Deputy City Manager Hugh Saxon said the rec center should be open for business by next Christmas. The project will cost about $6 million.
The city active living department will move back when the work is finished. For now, those offices are at 430 W. Trinity Place.