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A dozen recreation centers in Detroit will be renovated, expanded, and reopened at an estimated cost of $45 million, which is the most money that has been invested in these facilities in decades. Of that 45million, $30 million will come from city America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, $10 million will come from municipal bonds, and $5 million will come from Roger Penske, founder and chairman of Penske Corp. As of now, eight existing recreation centers will undergo major upgrades and renovations including Chandler Park, Farwell and Adams Butzel. During his State of the City address last week, Mayor Mike Duggan detailed many of the improvements for the recreation centers and what he plans on doing with them moving forward. Duggan said, “In the past eight years, we’ve completely renovated more than 150 parks, giving children and families across the city the opportunity for a quality place to play near their homes. Now we are shifting our attention to our aging recreation centers to make sure they, too, are of the quality you would see available in any suburban community.” Since he was elected, Mayor Duggan has renovated and reopened the Kemeny Rec Center in southwest Detroit and he, along with help from Mitch Albom and Matt Stafford, have all partnered together with the city to renovate and reactivate the Lipke Recreation Center on the city’s westside.

The city has closed 20 of its recreation centers since the 1980s, leaving children and seniors with fewer options for recreation activities. Duggan says the city is now investing more in its recreation centers than it has in the past 50 years. The biggest project will be the demolition and reconstruction of the Dexter-Elmhurst recreation center, which is currently vacant and privately owned. A much needed amenity will be provided in a historically underserved community by the city’s purchase of the building and completion of the renovation for around $8.5 million.

A list for the rec centers/parks that the city plans on renovating are as follows:

  • Dexter-Elmhurst Rec Center
  • Chandler Park
  • Farwell
  • State Fair Band Shell
  • Adams Butzel
  • Coleman Young
  • Butzel Family
  • Heilmann
  • Patton Rec Center
  • Crowell
  • Clemente