Community Heroes: Local businessman working to transform former middle school into community center

Community Heroes

BLUFF CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The CEO of Business Information Systems in Piney Flats, Chris Laisure, is working on a new project that will take area nonprofits to the next level.

Laisure is working to turn the old Bluff City Middle School into a community center.

“We’ve been involved in Isaiah 117 House. We’ve been involved in Standup for Children, in Johnson City. We do a lot of community events with churches in the area,” Laisure said.

Laisure bought the building and donated it to nonprofits in the area. Right now, various groups are heading into the old middle school, renovating their rooms to their liking.

McKay said, “Every nonrofit thats going to come into Bluff City Middle School is going to automatically have the upperhand just because of this space, the location and the connections.”

Stephen McKay is the president of Vessel of Honour Ministries, in Johnson City. He said his organization will be given the tools to make more of a difference in the community, thanks to Laisure.

“With us, to orphanages in southeast Asia, getting ready to put another one in Kenya, and then a lot of missions work- pastoral work in Africa,” McKay said.”People like Chris are essential to nonprofits.”

Laisure said the community center will also be opened to local sports teams.

“This is what we do. We do Junior Patriots, which we have 60 to 70 kids every Tuesday here practicing on our football field. The Sullivan East Middle School basketball team comes here and practices,” Laisure said. “We have some skills and drills instructors.”

“To be able to just give someone that much space, to be able to really fulfill a dream of building a nonprofit, it’s just nobody like it,” McKay said.

The community center and offices are expected to be completed by December 1, 2020.

And that is why he’s our community hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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