In addition to housing B22Fit, the B22Fit Gym has a unique history. During World War II, roughly 280,000 men and women from Louisiana served in the Armed Forces, and Louisiana became the site of massive military construction. In particular, a portion of Kisatchie National Forest (located just north of Forest Hill, Louisiana) was given to the Department of War to create three new camps for the Army: Claiborne, Livingston, and Polk. Construction of Camp Claiborne began in 1940. Over the next year, more than 8,000 construction workers built hundreds of wooden buildings at Camp Claiborne. Among other buildings, the finished camp boasted four service clubs, shops, a guest house, and a large recreational building. Over 500,000 men and women were trained in riflery, railroad operation, and engineering. However, by 1946 when the war was over, Camp Claiborne was no longer needed as a training facility, and the once vibrant camp fell vacant.
By the next year, the camp was being dismantled. Fortunately, the Grant Parish School Board requested the recreational building as a gym for Dry Prong High School, and an agreement was reached. The recreational building was dismantled at Camp Claiborne, and the boards were numbered and placed on log trucks. Despite public concern over the impossibility of the project, men from Grant Parish managed to transport the boards and painstakingly rebuild the recreational building in the location where it still stands today in Dry Prong, Louisiana. Dry Prong High School utilized the gym for boys and girls basketball from 1948 until 1978, when a new high school was constructed. Thereafter, the gym became the home of the Dry Prong Junior High Wildcats until a new junior high was constructed in 2010. The James Crooks family then purchased the property.
Following the purchase, the gym was unused for 8 years. On March 1, 2018, we purchased the property, and the gym became the new home of B22Fit.
The year 2020 was difficult for everyone across the country. Our campus was closed for over six weeks due to COVID-19. On August 27, 2020, our B22 campus was hit by Hurricane Laura, and high wind and rain caused in excess of a million dollars in damages across campus. On September 21, 2020, our campus again sustained damage due to Tropical Storm Beta. A few weeks later, our campus was struck by Hurricane Delta. We were blessed with Al Mallet and First General Services, Steve Ayres and Petron, Grant Eastern Construction and many many more who worked so hard to put all of the pieces of our campus back together. We could not have survived this year without dedicated employees and gym members who were committed to restoring our campus and helping us in our time of need.