WEST PHILADELPHIA (FOX 29) - A ribbon cutting to dedicate a renovated West Mill Creek Recreation Center was held Thursday night.
The community gathered to see upgrades to the once-aging and dilapidated building. Inside a new HVAC system, kitchen and ADA accessible bathrooms. Also new windows, doors and a new roof.
"It's a new beginning," said Kimberly Morris. She says her two daughters use the center and playground here every day.
"They were in the summer program when my uncle Jimmy was running it. God rest his soul. They were in here. He was in here helping tutoring kids," she said. The girls are excited about the improvements.
"The air conditioning. Oh it be hot," they said. Lack of air conditioning is just one of a host of problems the center had back then. I was here three years ago with Keith Coleman. He's the president of the West Mill Creek Advisory Council. He showed me the issues. A leaky roof, cracks in the walls, broken appliances and bathroom sewage problems to name a few but not anymore.
"This right here today shows us that the city is trying to do something to move forward to help us out just a little bit," said Denise Carey. She has worked with the center since the late '80s.
"It's a second home. It's a safe haven. It's a place to get a meal. I have two freezers in there that I keep full of food just to feed those that don't have," she said. She says even with the city's investment the community has to do its part to keep up the center.
"We have to work hard to try to bring the resources that we need so our community can sustain and the gun-slinging can lower down," she said.
Officials thanked Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell for making sure the upgrades happened. They say renovations totaled $400,000.