Edcouch-Elsa school district wants church group out of gym

It may not be the fanciest gym, but for Zelma Castillo, the old Boys and Girls Club gym, located on Yellow Jacket

"It's a positive place in the community for people to come to and feel like they are a party of something, Castillo said.

Where they can feel hope, (and) that there's people here that care about (them).

It's young people like Castillo, that Church of ACTS Pastor Steve Martinez said will be hurt the most, if the Edcouch-Elsa School District forces them to leave.

Martinez said that last week he received a letter in the mail from the school district, asking him to move-out of the gym.

For the past three years, Martinez said, the church has used the gym, at not cost, to hand-out clothes and food for needy families in the area.

He said the gym also provides a drug-free, after school and weekend program for teens.

"Some of them don't have a mother or father and live with their grandparents, Martinez said.

And they just want to feel loved - and here we just want to be a place where they can feel at home.

Interim Superintendent Frank Perez, told Action 4 News the district is asking the group to leave because middle school athletes will need the gym for practice, during upcoming construction at the middle school.

In addition to leaving, Perez also said the group has to pay 50 percent of electricity costs they accrued in the past three years " which adds up to more than $6,000.

Perez said the district is simply doing what's best for the students, but Martinez believes otherwise.

"We wonder why our community never prospers, Martinez said. (It TMs) because of the corruption, the choices that we make for who we elect as (politicians).

We need to elect the right people that are really going to have a vision for this community.

Edcouch-Elsa needs a lot of help."

Perez said the group has until December 21 to move-out.