Breckenridge Texan

‘Expedition Texas’ TV show to feature recent project to restore Breckenridge’s old YMCA building

‘Expedition Texas’ TV show to feature recent project to restore Breckenridge’s old YMCA building
November 08
11:19 2020

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

A little over a year ago, a group of local high school students got permission from the Breckenridge City Commission to work on the old YMCA building downtown. Next weekend, their beautification project will be featured on the television show “Expedition Texan.”

The show, which features historical places throughout Texas, is aired on The CW and Heartland networks. If you can’t find it through your TV service provider, the shows are also posted on the Expedition Texas YouTube channel. Each episode is about 20 minutes long.

Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims, center right, shakes hands with “Expedition Texas” host Bob Mauldin outside the old YMCA building. Cameramen Ryan Mauldin and Jeff Miller captured the scene for the upcoming documentary. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Expedition Texas host and director Bob Mauldin and his camera crew visited Breckenridge earlier this year to film the episode on the YMCA project. The show is scheduled to air on Saturday, Nov. 14. It was originally scheduled for Nov. 7, but was postponed a week.

When the TV crew was in town, a hot summer wind blew through the open doors and windows of Breckenridge’s old YMCA, as a small group of citizens gathered to tell the tale of the beloved building and the teenagers whose hard work started what many hope is a complete restoration project. To see more photos from the taping of the documentary, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery.

The Breckenridge High School students were part of the Texas Midwest Community Network’s Leadership program that helps towns in this area engage young citizens in projects that will have a lasting impact on their communities.

In 2019, McKenly Roberts, Axel Puebla and Liberty Blades took on the YMCA project. Initially, they explored the idea of completely renovating the building that was constructed almost 100 years ago. However, such a major project would have been too costly and time-consuming. So, the students scaled back their work to focus on beautification and security.

They worked on the project in the spring and summer before their senior year of high school and raised almost $10,000 for the project. Then, they completed a variety of renovations, including repairing and/or replacing windows, doors and light fixtures, and cleaning up the rooms on the first floor.

Kelly Grissom and Lisa Echols are interviewed by the “Expedition Texas” crew for the upcoming documentary on Breckenridge’s old YMCA building. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/ Breckenridge Texan)

McKenly and Axel were interviewed by the TV crew; Liberty couldn’t be there that day. McKenly said that one of the reasons she wanted to work on the YMCA building is because she hopes that it can become a viable part of the community again, providing a place for kids to gather, but also for citizens of all ages to come together and interact.

“It was important to me to provide a place for the youth to have a place to be and have fun,” she said.

Although the building isn’t ready for regular use yet, the students said they feel like they made a good start and would like to continue to be involved in the project.

“I feel like we made a spark in the community,” Axel said.

Also interviewed by the TV crew were Breckenridge Mayor Bob Sims; Lisa Echols, who worked with the students on the TMCN Leadership project; Mary Frances Thompson; and, Kelly Grissom.

The old YMCA building still needs a lot of work, including a new roof, before it would be usable by the general public, and several local residents continue to be interested in saving the historic building.

This is the 14th season for “Expedition Texas.” The season started out with a two-part documentary on the history of Mineral Wells’ “crazy water.” For more details on the show, click the following links to visit the “Expedition Texas” Facebook page, YouTube channel and website.

Mary Frances Thompson talks about her memories of Breckenridge’s YMCA with “Expedition Texas” host Bob Mauldin, right, and cameraman Jeff Miller. The show on the recent renovation project is scheduled to air Nov. 14. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Cutline, top photo: The host of “Expedition Texas,” Bob Mauldin, center, interviews Axel Puebla and McKenly Roberts, who worked on a project cleaning up the Breckenridge’s old YMCA building last year. Mauldin was accompanied by two cameramen, Jeff Miller, and Mauldin’s son, Ryan Mauldin, not pictured. To see more photos, click here for the Breckenridge Texan’s Photo Gallery. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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