The city of St. Paul is building a new recreation center, along with outdoor amenities, for $10 million, to replace the aging Scheffer Recreation Center along Thomas and Como Avenues.
The new Frogtown Community Center will be 23,000 square feet featuring community rooms, a kitchen, after-school space, a fitness room and a full-sized gymnasium.
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Gina Stokes oversees recreational programs for a portion of the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department and she told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS the new community center will also offer more programs for kids.
"We are really excited to offer more opportunities with this project," Stokes said. "There will also be an artificial-turf football field, soccer field, full-sized outdoor basketball court and a Kato court."
St. Paul Police records show the city has seen a four percent increase in violent juvenile crime between 2016 and 2017. The city has pledged to find more public space for kids and neighborhoods so they can make better choices with their time.
"We pride ourselves on being a safe place with positive adult mentors," Stokes said. "We will provide youth work and definitely space where they can grow and develop what they want to be."
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James Berry told KSTP he and his friends use Scheffer nearly every day in the summer and the new rec center is eagerly anticipated.
"I think it will be great and better than the old Scheffer, and I think it will attract more people and it will definitely help kids with their school and teamwork, too," Berry said.
The city hopes to open the Community Center in the fall of 2019.