New, im­proved Har­lem Park rec cen­ter to re­open

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND - By Catherine Rentz

The Har­lem Park Recre­ation Cen­ter in West Bal­ti­more will re­open Tues­day, nearly seven years af­ter it was closed.

Bal­ti­more City Recre­ation & Parks col­lab­o­rated with the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Med­i­cal Cen­ter to ren­o­vate and re­open the facility, which was among four rec cen­ters closed per­ma­nently by then-Mayor Stephanie Rawl­ings-Blake in 2012.

The strat­egy at the time was to in­vest limited city fund­ing in fewer, higher-qual­ity fa­cil­i­ties, but then-City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Bernard C. “Jack” Young op­posed the clo­sures.

Now that Young is mayor, he’s celebratin­g the re­open­ing.

“Re­turn­ing this es­sen­tial com­mu­nity as­set to the res­i­dents of Har­lem Park has been a pri­or­ity of mine since I was City Coun­cil Pres­i­dent and I am proud that as Mayor I will be able to re­turn this jewel to the com­mu­nity,” he said in a re­cent state­ment.

The ren­o­vated space on North Cal­houn Street will in­clude new light­ing, books, games, sport­ing equip­ment and an up­graded mul­tipur­pose room. Com­mu­nity mem­bers are in­vited to the grand re­open­ing cer­e­mony at 2 p.m.

The city will host pop-up pro­grams at the cen­ter be­gin­ning this Wed­nes­day. It will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mon­days, Wed­nes­days and Fri­days and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tues­days and Thurs­days.

The cen­ter will be fully op­er­a­tional by Septem­ber with youth and adult pro­grams, vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties, sports leagues and out-of-school learn­ing. It will host sum­mer camp next year.

Bal­ti­more City Depart­ment of Recre­ation & Parks re­opened the Pat­ap­sco Recre­ation Cen­ter in Cherry Hill in early 2019. Plans to ren­o­vate and re­open three ad­di­tional cen­ters are un­der­way, ac­cord­ing to the agency.

Of the other four closed by Rawl­ings-Blake’s ad­min­is­tra­tion at the end of the sum­mer of 2012, only the Cen­tral Rose­mont Cen­ter re­mains closed, though Recre­ation & Parks op­er­ates a neigh­bor­hood pool there. The Cris­pus At­tucks Recre­ation Cen­ter in Madi­son Park was re­opened in 2017, and the Parkview Recre­ation Cen­ter near Druid Hill Park also re­opened.

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