LEXINGTON, S.C. — A former Lexington gym will now become the home of the county's first permanent emergency shelter. 

Ball Park Road Gym, located at 432 Ball Park Road, will operate as a shelter and training facility for emergency services in the county. 

The move will create great benefits for locals who may otherwise have had to wait for assistance during a county or state crisis, according to Emergency Services Director David Kerr.

"The floods of 2015. We had needs. We opened two shelters in the county. They were both at recreation facilities," Kerr said. "This gives us the capability on no notice to be able to get people here, get it open and have a warm place for residents to come in an emergency."

He estimates that the facility will be able to house 200 to 250 county residents in need. 

"We have purchased emergency kits that have cots, blankets, pillows, the comfort items like tooth brushes, tooth paste, things like that," Kerr said. "We do have a bathroom facility; it does have showers. 

The center will also be pet friendly if ever activated during an emergency. 

"It does need to be painted and some other things, but really, it's just going to be a great facility for us to better serve our citizens," Kerr said.

The county will take full possession of the facility on February 1st.