Nine city recreation centers reopening Monday, February 21, 2005, PG
The City of Pittsburgh today is reopening nine community recreation centers that had been closed because of budget problems. Private donations had been sought in late 2003 and last year to reopen pools and recreation centers. The centers will be open from 3 to 10 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. They will offer sports, fitness and after-school programs. The centers are Arlington, 2201 Salisbury St.; Brookline, 1400 Oakridge St.; Jefferson, 605 Rednap St., North Side; Magee, 745 Greenfield Ave., Greenfield; Ormsby, 79 S. 22nd St., South Side; Paulson, 1300 Paulson St., Lincoln-Lemington; Phillips, 201 Parkfiled St., Carrick; Warrington, 329 E. Warrington Ave., Beltzhoover; and West Penn, 450 30th St., Polish Hill.
The rec centers makes a classic half-full or half-empty question. Nine open while ten stay closed. Furthermore, the centers closed in August 2003. That's a long time for a kid, say the age of 10, like my oldest and his classmates.
Another glimmer of hope comes in the fact that the South Side Market House, a city rec center, is now a place for activities too. The volunteers and parents of the area pulled together to offer programs for the kids throughout the fall of 2004. We conducted a 10-week indoor soccer program on three nights a week for three age groups. This was without city workers, without city insurance, without city toilet paper. Yep, we supplied our own T.P.
The fix to this numbness is the creation of a Pittsburgh Park District. Pull the parks and recreation elements out of the city, county, school, RAD (Regaional Asset District Tax) Board and make a citizen driven, democratic, accountable entity.
In other news, the Market House Childrens' Athletic Assn begins its hockey programming tonight. Should have started in early January. But the city delayed operations for a few reasons including gym floor re-firbishing.