Rock Island Community Center Looking to Expand Again
A new park opened in Rock Island's Old Chicago neighborhood this weekend - another step forward in Rock Island's plans to revitalize that area.
And now, plans are in the works to expand the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. A bigger center could mean big things for the Rock Island community.
City leaders say the biggest impact it will have is allowing more families to get their kids in after school programs - keeping them off the streets and on track to succeed.
Right now, there are about 40 kids on a waiting list to get into the after school programs at the King center. Staffers there says they just don't have the room or the staff for all those kids right now.
So, they're looking to secure funds to add more rooms to the center and pay more employees.
It will be the second time the center has had to expand in just the last two years, and parents at the community center say that says a lot about the role it plays in Rock Island.
"It will help a lot of families and it will sure take a lot of burden off a lot of people who want to get their kids involved, but don't know how or have the capability to get them involved. so being able to expand on this building will be just a blessing in disguise," Yosava Robinson, one parent at the center, said.
Aside from adding more room for after school programs, the expansion will include a community library and a museum with artifacts related to Martin Luther King, Jr.
As for how much this is going to cost, the King center says it's still in the process of figuring that out. But it hopes to fund the project the same way it funded its last expansion in 2011, through a combination of donations, grants and city funds.
The expansion is expected to start taking shape in about a year.