The Mill Creek Recreation Center is now the Tiffany Fletcher Recreation Center in honor of the late Parks and Rec employee killed by a stray bullet while working there last year.
Wednesday’s commemoration coincided with the city’s opening day of public pools, including the newly-named Fletcher Pool.
Local leaders and Mill Creek community members gathered for the unveiling, including Fletcher’s mother, Geraldine, who reflected on her daughter’s legacy.
“She loved her job, she loved the city, she loved the city workers, she just loved everybody,” she said. “That’s the way she was. She had a big heart. I miss her very deeply. I thank God for the time that me and her were together, and we’re still together because she lives in my heart.”
The recreational center will receive $3 million in upgrades for ADA accessibility improvements, a computer lab, and a mural depicting Fletcher. Construction is set to get underway after the summer season, in September.
Third District Councilmember Jamie Gauthier is allocating $1.5 million from her discretionary budget towards the Tiffany Fletcher Rec Center. She called the upgrades an investment in a community that has “been waiting a very long time for the rec center it deserves.”
“The city must provide fully staffed and fully operational public spaces for young people — and the entire neighborhood — to safely gather, play, and build community,” Gauthier said. “Because when we give neighbors playgrounds, parks, and pools they can be proud of, we are showing that we care, and an investment in their well-being is one worth making.”
It’s the first summer that all of Philly’s 61 public pools were able to open, said Mayor Jim Kenney, and it is being done in Fletcher’s memory.
“We have overcome the shortage of lifeguards,” Kenney said. “We are fully stocked and ready to give swimming lessons to all our kids, it gives them a place to cool off and be safe. Although Tiffany was taken from us too soon, it brings us some comfort to be here today celebrating her legacy and reflecting on the positive impact she had on this wonderful Mill Creek community.”
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