Inside look at reimagined, brand-new Tolson Center

NOW: Inside look at reimagined, brand-new Tolson Center

ELKHART, Ind. -- The newly rebuilt Tolson Center opened its doors in Elkhart Thursday, giving folks an inside look at its brand-new home for the first time since renovations began nearly three years ago.

Applause, cheers, and even tears came from hundreds who came to check out the new, reimagined space.

“I am just full of so many emotions right now, but the biggest one is joy,” says the Executive Director of the Tolson Center, Breanna Allen.

Equipped with two gymnasiums, a cafeteria, dance studio, and a multitude of spaces for one-on-one coaching, studying, and playing, the new Tolson Center is twice the size of its former location, doubling the number of families that can utilize the new neighborhood community center. 

“We want to be a place of equity and opportunity for all people, everyone in not only the Benham neighborhood, but the city of Elkhart,” Allen says.

City leaders say celebrating the new space is as much honoring its roots.

The Tolson mission stays steadfast; to empower lives through inclusive learning, recreation, and cultural change - opening doors to bright futures. 

“It doesn’t cure all woes, but what it does do is give communities like this hope, and it actually brings kids that are at-risk into a space, not only them, but others who actually want to be in this environment,” says Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson.

The switch to this modern center hopes to be a sign of growth and positive impact it’s meant to spur for the surrounding community. 

“The real effect is going to be how it transforms or be a part of the transformation of this community,” Mayor Roberson says.

“We just can’t wait to welcome everybody,” says Allen.

Staff says there is truly something for everyone of all ages here.

If you want to take advantage of the programs and spaces here at the Tolson Center, people can sign up for a membership by visiting their website.

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