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Ed Rice Community Center holds grand reopening

The Ed Rice Community Center is the first center that the city of Memphis has rebuilt since 2000. The space now contains an aquatic center and art studio and more.

New and improved—what many say is much-needed—the renovated Ed Rice Community Center reopened in Frayser Saturday. 

The mayor, city council members and kids from the community were all present for the big reveal. The $8 million project includes what the city calls “the nicest fitness facility in Memphis.”

The center contains an aquatic center, meeting space, art studio and more. The city of Memphis hopes the new community center will provide a place for young people to visit during the summer to stay occupied. 

“If you leave kids to themselves, they have nothing to do, nothing to eat—they’re going to get into trouble,” a parks and community centers advocate Jo Ann Street said. “These are our future firemen. These are our future police officers. We have to treat them as such—not as a future inmate.”

Street said that the Ed Rice Community Center has been a staple for all the residents in the “pivotal parts of Frayser.” 

“This is where we meet—we engage each other,” Street said. “Once there’s cleanliness, once there’s activity, then it replaces the negative thoughts and feelings that children might have.” 

Credit: Elvis Hardwick
Citizens gather for the Ed Rice Community Center reopening

The goal for the center is to exchange those negative feelings for the positive ones found in unity.

“What is so great about this is, I think, [is that] we did this together,” Street said. “We advocated for something. We saw something where there was a need and we came together.”

The Ed Rice Community Center is the first center that the city of Memphis has rebuilt since 2000. 

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