City leaders break ground on brand-new MLK Dream Center
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- A new sense of hope and community is coming soon to South Bend’s west side in the form of brand-new, modern facilities that will promote health, growth, and engagement.
“Where there’s hope, you see development, you see things happen and we’re just so excited for that,” says Moe Scott, the longest serving director of the MLK Community Center.
“It’s a project that truly endeavors; to heal a neighborhood, to restore a commercial district, and to create hope and vision and a new reality for everyone who will enter through the doors,” says Executive Director of South Bend Venues, Parks, and Arts, Aaron Perri.
The new MLK Dream Center will soon replace the current King Center but will still hold all the core values that helped to develop so many people in the community.
“This center was everything for us; it was a safe haven, it was a safe place, it was a place that you were going to be held accountable and responsible for your actions,” remembers Scott. “It’s definitely bittersweet, but it was a gift for many years that has made room for the new dream center.”
Recreation is a main focus of the project. The Dream Center will be complete with two basketball courts, an indoor and outdoor playground, fitness centers, splash pads, and a beautiful outdoor park area.
It’s being funded through the American Rescue Plan, as well as by corporate and private donations. Mayor James Mueller says the $20 million project will especially help South Bend’s youth to stay on track and promote the city’s growth.
“We don’t want this to be just a recreation place,” says Mayor James Mueller. “We do want this to be a place where our community grows together and can achieve their dreams, get the skills to achieve their dreams.”
The Dream Center will help transform the city’s west side and put it on the map as an attractive area for future expansion and development in South Bend.
“It’s very liberating for other developers,” suggests Scott. “When they see this type of financial, economic development in this space, it will liberate them to come and do other things in this neighborhood, in this community.”
Construction for the Dream Center is set to begin by the end of January, and they’re expecting to hold the ribbon cutting in about a year and a half.