Boxwood Rec Center reopens to Carver Heights community - WRBL

Boxwood Rec Center reopens to Carver Heights community

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Opened in the 1950's when community centers were still segregated, the Boxwood Recreation Center provided a safe place for kids and adults alike to come together. Today that can happen again.

Carver Heights residents of all ages came to celebrate its grand reopening along with the mayor and other elected officials. City councilman Jerry "Pops" Barnes remembers his childhood rec center fondly and says it's important for kids to have good influences. "The adult population can come and really mentor these children and that's necessary," he says. "It helped me, all the mentorship of everyone who came and put some of what I used to call 'old age wisdom' on."

Barnes and other adults in the community have already committed to volunteering at the center, helping kids with homework and organizing events. Veronica Terry says, "I look forward to doing my part, as being part of this community, and I hope that others will join in as well."

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says in the wake of high crime rates, it's important to keep kids off the streets. She says, "If they have no exposure to the right path, if they don't have any life resources, confidence, pride and hope, then they're all too ready to fall victim to the wrong kind of influences, and so you nip crime in the bud by investing in the children."

While everyone agreed it was a good day in the neighborhood, some community members say there's still more work to be done. Nadine Moore grew up in the center and says she's happy to see it open again but wants to see expansion on the land. "There will be a gym built here," she says. "This place is open true enough, but it's small compared to the population that it will serve."

The rec center will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mayor Tomlinson added that the city is looking to reopen other rec centers in the community and are currently weighing budget options. Most of the funding for Boxwood came from a grant from the crime prevention office.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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