MLK Jr. Community Center Looks to Expand - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

MLK Jr. Community Center Looks to Expand

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The city of Rock Island says it's making progress in its plan to revitalize the Old Chicago neighborhood.

On Saturday, city officials opened the Martin Luther King Jr. Park. And now plans are in the works to expand the nearby MLK Jr. Community Center.

City leaders say the biggest impact the expansion will have is allowing more families to get their kids in after school programs … keeping them off the streets and on track to succeed.

Right now there are about 40 of kids on a waiting list to get into the after school programs at the King Center. Officials say the center just doesn't have the room or the staff for all those kids right now.

Officials say right now they're looking to secure funds to add more rooms to the center and to hire more employees.

They're still not sure how much that's going to cost, but they are hoping to pay for the project through donations, grants and city funds – that's how they paid for the center's last expansion that was completed in 2011.

Parents and officials say the fact that the center will have had to undergo two expansions in such a short time span says a lot about the role it plays in Rock Island.

The center also has about four programs – including a boxing club and a drill team – that are housed in different buildings around the city. So a priority with the expansion will be to create enough space to bring those programs under one roof at the center

The expansion will also include a community library and a museum with artifacts related to Martin Luther King Jr.

It's expect to start taking shape in about a year.

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