Mayor Rawlings-Blake Opens Baltimore’s First New Recreation Center Built in the Last 10 Years

A new recreation center has opened in Baltimore this week. Called the Morrell Park Community Center, it is the first new recreation center built in the city in the last 10 years.

A new recreation center has opened in Baltimore this week. Called the Morrell Park Community Center, it’s the first new recreation center built in the city in the last 10 years.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was present at the grand opening, on Monday, July 28, together with members of the Morrell Park community. The construction of the Morrell Park Community Center is part of the mayor’s plan to replace Baltimore’s aging recreation centers with a network of new, high-quality facilities, better suited to serve the city and its residents. Most of the current recreation centers were constructed in the late 60s and early 70s.

The project was constructed at a cost of $4.1 million. It delivered a “green” certified building, with a green roof, which captures rain water and reduces storm water runoff. The Morrell Park Community Center features a gymnasium, fitness room, multi-purpose room, large patio, and outdoor green space. It currently offers summer camp and senior programs. In the fall, it will include Afterschool Adventures, basketball, chess, cheerleading, a computer lab, environmental activities and trips, karate, and Zumba.

Construction on the project started in 2012. The city hired a local company, TECH Contracting, to develop the Morrell Park Community Center. The contract called for the inclusion of at least 26 percent Minority Business Enterprise and six percent Women Business Enterprise. TECH Contracting also used sub-contractors during the development of the project and managed to meet and even exceed these goals.

On Monday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also announced her plan to to sell four city-owned parking garages in order to generate up-front, one-time proceeds. This will allow the city to invest in urgent priorities, such as recreation programming, infrastructure and blight elimination, without increasing its debt.

“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,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said in a press statement. “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.”

Photo credits: City of Baltimore