Mayor Rawlings-Blake Celebrates Grand Opening of City's First New Recreation Center Built in 10 Years
Monday Jul 28th, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Announces Plan to Sell Parking Garages to Generate $40-$60M in New Revenue for Recreation Centers
BALTIMORE, Md. (July 28, 2014)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and members of the Morrell Park community celebrated the grand opening of Baltimore City's first new recreation center built in 10 years, the Morrell Park Community Center. The mayor also announced her intention to introduce new legislation to sell four city-owned parking garages in an effort to generate up-front, one-time proceeds. The sale would allow the City to invest in urgent priorities, such as recreation programming, infrastructure and blight elimination, without adding to the City's debt burdens.
"By investing in our neighborhoods and providing modern facilities for our residents, especially our kids, we can offer more options and better opportunities to which they may not otherwise have access," said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. "I am committed to ensuring that we provide high-quality, state-of-the-art facilities that offer multi-purpose functions—from fitness and health to recreational and learning environments."
The construction of this facility is part of the mayor's ongoing efforts to transition the city's aging recreation centers into a new network of high-quality community centers that would better serve the neighborhoods of Baltimore City. Most of Baltimore City's current recreation centers were built during the late 1960s and early 1970s. While Edgewood Recreation Center was constructed in 2005 and Rita Church Community Center opened in the summer of 2013 after renovating a condemned building, the Morrell Park Community Center is the first newly constructed center in nearly a decade. The Cherry Hill Community Center is expected to be completed by mid-year 2016.
Construction for the Morrell Park Community Center began in 2012. The new $4.1 million facility features a gymnasium, fitness room, multi-purpose room, large patio, and outdoor green space. The building is "green" certified with a green roof, which captures rain water and reduces storm water runoff.
The city awarded the contract for the project to a local builder, TECH Contracting in Highlandtown. Sub-contractors were also utilized, meeting the goal for minority inclusion. The contract award aimed for inclusion of at least 26 percent Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and six percent Women Business Enterprise (WBE). The contractor met the MBE goal and exceeded the WBE goal by nearly 4 percent, using city-certified businesses.
Currently, the center offers summer camp and senior programs. At the conclusion of summer camp in August, the center will begin offering open recreation (basketball, weight training, gaming, etc.) until the fall/winter program begins.
Fall programming will continue to include senior programming, and will include Afterschool Adventures, basketball, chess, cheerleading, a computer lab, environmental activities and trips, karate, and Zumba.
For more information about the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, visit bcrp.baltimorecity.gov.