Multi-million dollar community center completed in Nicetown neighborhood

    By Aaron Moselle
    Dozens of Philadelphia residents joined Salvation Army brass and government officials over the weekend to celebrate the completion of a new state-of-the-art community center.

    By Aaron Moselle

    Dozens of Philadelphia residents joined Salvation Army brass and government officials over the weekend to celebrate the completion of a new state-of-the-art community center.

    More than four years ago, The Salvation Army of Greater
    Philadelphia received a $90 million donation to help build and operate a Community Center. The money came from the estate of Joan Kroc, whose husband Ray started McDonald’s. More than $30 million was raised locally for the project as well.

    On a windy Saturday, residents from the city’s Northwest section and beyond gathered at the Wissahickon Avenue address for a ribbon-cutting and tour of the Ray and Joan Kroc Center.

    State Senator Vincent Hughes speaking at the dedication (Photo by Jenny Swigoda)

    Pennsylvania state Senator Vincent Hughes, whose district includes the center, says the project sends the message that good things can happen in under-served communities.

    “We had to get it done here to show other communities around the country, not just around Philadelphia, not just around the state, but you had to show communities from around the country that it can happen if you believe, if you commit yourself, if you get everybody working together.”

    The sleek 130,000-square-foot center will offer athletic, educational and vocational programs. It will open to the public on November 1.

    A crowd of hundreds came out on Saturday Oct. 16 for the dedication of the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Nicetown. (Photo by Jenny Swigoda)
    WHYY's Kyra McGrath who is the advisory board chair for the Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia spoke at Saturday's dedication (Photo by Jenny Swigoda)
    The Worship and Performing Arts Center within the Kroc Center (Photo by Jenny Swigoda)
    One of four "Smart classrooms" at the Kroc Center (Photo by Jenny Swigoda)

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