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Drew Steele Center Now Open

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Sep 04 2012 07:08:20 PM CDT
GREENVILLE -

Formerly known as Elm Street Gym, the new facility boasts a new basketball court, workout room and air conditioning.

The center is named after Drew Steele, who has down syndrome. He is the son of former basketball coach Mike Steele and wife Sandy.

Sandy said the idea came about in 2006 when her husband and former ECU football coach Skip Holtz decided there was a need for a special needs gym in Greenville.

The Special Olympics hub was at the Elm Street Gym, yet there were stairs and no air conditioning for those with disabilities.

"For me it was like wait a minute this is not accessible," Sandy said.

Now, six years later the project is complete and the gym opened August 20.

"It just totally transformed. If you've been in it before and now it looks like a brand-new building," Sandy said.

Drew volunteers every Wednesday at the facility and gives tours and may challenge you to a game of horse if you ask.

"He's not one to sit back and be quiet and to me he's a leader," Sandy said.

The gym is open Monday through Friday from 2-5:15 p.m. and on Saturdays from 12-4 p.m. The gym is closed on Sundays.

There is also a men's exercise class from 5:30-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but you have to be a member to attend.