The District joined with the City of Cedar Rapids to celebrate the opening of the Northwest Recreation Center, 1340 11th Street NW, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 25. An open house followed for community members that featured games, refreshments and prize drawings.
Board of Education President John Laverty and Superintendent Dr. Brad Buck each spoke at the ribbon cutting, highlighting the successful partnership with the City and congratulating the school community and neighborhood on the new facility.
“We are excited about this collaboration between the city and the school district,” said Dr. Buck. “The facility is a beautiful addition to the Harrison campus. I look forward to additional opportunities in the future for us to work together to amplify our resources to the benefit of our students and the community.”
The new recreation center is the first municipal building built specifically for recreational programming in Cedar Rapids. It replaces the Time Check Recreation Center that served as a neighborhood center for the northwest area in addition to providing Parks and Recreation Department programs for the entire city. The new building is roughly 16,000 square feet. It includes a full-size gymnasium, activity room, game room and community room with dividers. The center will be open weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00, and Sundays from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
The city and school district have a shared use agreement that allows students at Harrison Elementary School to use the gymnasium during the school day. A private entrance separates students from the general population using other parts of the recreation center. In exchange, the Parks and Recreation Department will have access to the school grounds and to portions of Harrison School during the evenings and weekends for recreation programs.
The Northwest Recreation Center was the last FEMA funded facility replacement project for the City of Cedar Rapids. The cost was $4.3 million (including architect and engineering costs) of which $2.2 million was funded from FEMA, $500,000 from the Cedar Rapids Community School District, and the remaining portion from City funds. Cedar Rapids Noon Lions Club and the Lions Club International District 9EC donated $22,000 to be used for furnishing the kitchen and gymnasium.