NEW BERN, N.C., (WNCT) – New Bern Parks and Recreation is making progress on its storm-damaged Stanley White Recreation Center. 

Hurricane Florence flooded and destroyed parts of the building, forcing the city to close it. Now, two years after the storm, the building’s walls are coming down. Workers began demolishing the center Monday morning, but there’s still a long way to go to rebuild.

The last year and a half have consisted of going through the FEMA grant process. At this time, officials were working through what they called the environmental assessment process. This will determine where the building will be located next. 

The New Bern Board of Alderman will make the final decision. After everything is completed, the department will begin the redevelopment phase. 

“The Stanley White Recreation Center was the, a lot of people told us, the heart of the community, and we look forward to being able to get this center back up and running, and being offered more programs, for the public,” said Foster Hughes, director for the city parks and recreation. 

Demolition will take a few weeks followed by about a month of clean-up. Hughes wants the new center to have lots of technology and virtual space. He expects the facility to serve the city for the next 40 to 50 years. 

The goal is to break ground on the new Stanley White Recreation Center by the end of this year.