South Bend's Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center kick-starting renovations

NOW: South Bend’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center kick-starting renovations

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in about a week, South Bend’s Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center is about to undergo some renovations! Local leaders are inviting you to “Build the Dream,” and help plan the future for the center.

With the help of attendees’ voices and ideas in a series of three different engagement sessions, the city plans to use an $11 million-dollar investment from the American Rescue Plan for the center and its grounds to re-envision what it all should look like and what needs to be changed or included in order for it to serve as a better, more modern center for all community members.

South Bend will seek additional public and private funds as well to make this possible, including grants, corporate sponsors and individual donations towards the “Build the Dream” project. Along with neighbors’ help, a world-class architectural firm called Meticulous Architecture and Design will be working with the city with the designs.

The city also aims to begin other business and community development efforts in the surrounding areas of the center.

In his state of the city address, South Bend Mayor James Mueller said he “believes the time is right to transform the king center to a ‘dream center’ at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. park. We can build a world class, intergenerational community center, inspiring hope for us all.”

Since December of 2021, until March of 2022, the city will gather initial feedback for the “Build the Dream” project. In 2022, the design phase will take place, and a groundbreaking will happen before 2023. In 2023, the construction will begin and continue for the entirety of the year. Once 2024 rolls around, people can more than likely expect a full completion of the project.

South Bend Venues Parks and Arts Executive Director Aaron Perri said in a statement about the project,” “as a community—we’ve been able to create some very special places of the past several years, and this is positioned to be one of the most impactful. One of my favorite parts, is right now, the planning phase, when we get to incorporate peoples hopes and ideas.”

If you are interested in being a part of the project, and want to share your feedback and ideas to make the center better, there are two engagement sessions happening, one on February 10 and the second on March 10, both from 6PM to 8PM at the community center on Linden Avenue.

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