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Parents forced to wait outside Washington rec center - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Parents forced to wait outside Washington rec center

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WASHINGTON, N.C. -

Some parents are outraged because they say they were turned away from their children's basketball games.

A stabbing several weeks ago at the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center in Washington forced city leaders to cut the gym's capacity in half. Now parents say they have to wait outside in the cold if the gym gets too full.

Starting January 28th, the rec center can hold 120 people instead of 240.

"All we're doing is just complying with fire codes and making sure that everyone is safe," said Washington City Manager Josh Kay.

But many parents disagree.

"Get a wand. Scan people down for weapons. That way you know a weapon is not being brought in and that way you're assuring the safety of the children," said Michelle Cole. "As parents, paying parents that pay for our children to play, we're suffering the consequences at the hands of someone else's mistake. And not just me, the children. Not just my children, all the children that play."

Kay said they didn't turn the parents away; they just made them wait outside until someone else left the building.

"So I'm standing out here missing half my son's game until someone comes out. What if no one comes out. I've missed the whole game," said Cole.

Kay said the capacity is flexible, but for now he's sticking with the plan. To curb the wait time, he's encouraging players and parents to only come 30 minutes before their game, and he's asking parents not to drop their children off and leave. He's also looking into finding a second venue for rec league players to play.

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