Kemeny Center, Detroit, Southwest Detroit, Recreation Center, Renovations

DETROIT (WWJ) — Residents in one Southwest Detroit neighborhood are celebrating a special renovation today.

About 200 people stood by as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan broke ground on a $9.5 million renovation of the closed Kemeny Recreation Center on Fort Street.

Today’s groundbreaking was the icing on the cake, said Charlie Beckham, group executive for neighborhoods. He spoke live on WWJ after the ceremony to discuss the event and upcoming renovations.

“This past spring we redid the entire playground,” Beckham said. “Another acre of baseball diamonds, soccer fields, gazebos, picnic areas and walking paths so it’s really just a shot in the arm for the folks down here.”

A 7,000 square foot gymnasium will be one of the additions to the building.

The center should be completed in about a year.

“It’s been a longtime coming,” Beckham said. “We’ve been promising these folks a new rec center for a good 15-20 years. A lot of issues, budgetary issues, got in our way but today we broke all the log jams and there’s really (a lot of excitement). Got to be a couple hundred people out here enjoying the fact that we are going to redo their center for them. So it’s a good day for Southwest Detroit.”


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