Sherer Auditorium has become a part of downtown Jasper over the years. We all have many memories of the place.
Some of us remember it being used for physical education classes. It was one time the municipal auditorium. We've seen concerts and church gatherings. For years it was where we all went to see the election results come in (although the election counting equipment has improved quite a bit since those days).
However, the facility is pretty much unused and unappreciated. That is sad for a structure that was put up in in 1938, under the auspicies of the Works Progress Administration, one of the agencies set up under President Franklin Roosevelt to deal with the Depression by creating work for people.
Currently the city is dealing with the Town Creek Project, an $80,000 effort to improve that area. Some discussion has been raised, particularly by Jasper City Council President Danny Gambrell, about finding a use for the historic structure. Jasper Main Street's leader, Mike Putman, has said he and others on the project are open to finding out what it can do to redevelop the facility, which could include reusing the structure.
As Gambrell points out, the facility probably needs a lot of work. But leaders should put their heads together to find a reasonable use for the facility, if possible. There has been ideas about using it for the cramped municipal court, a homeless shelter, and entertainment venues, with even our own publisher saying he would like to host professional wrestling events at Sherer like in the old days.
In the end, it may not can be saved, and it may have to be sold or torn down. But we should have a good faith effort to find some use before it fades into history.
--Daily Mountain Eagle