UPDATE: Neighbors say new Avondale Youth and Family Development Center represents change
UPDATE: For the first time in more than 50 years, the Avondale community will have a brand new center.
City leaders will host a grand opening ceremony for the Avondale Youth and Family Development Center this Saturday.
Charles McClendon said he grew up in the neighborhood, spending many days in the old youth family and development center.
He said this new facility represents a change in the community.
"When you have recreation centers, it helps the community thrive, it gives the children an outlet or something to do," McClendon said.
City leaders broke ground on the $10 million project last year.
The facility is four times the size as the old building.
It includes classrooms, a library, gym, basketball court, playground, pavilion and much more.
Patricia Grath has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years and said this new facility will give people a place to go.
"Especially the teenagers, they have somewhere to go you know instead of being on the streets," Grath said.
Saturday's ceremony will start at 1 p.m and will include basketball games, arts and crafts.
It will also have a vendor fair where families can learn more about home repair resources, health care and voter registration.
PREVIOUS STORY: The Avondale Youth and Family Development Center is officially opening on Saturday, November 23 with a celebration event.
The event will have an afternoon of activities for all ages, including basketball games, a vendor fair, voter registration and more.
Ceremony speakers include Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Avondale Church of Christ Minister Eric Garner, Avondale Neighborhood Association's Ken Smith and more.
The celebration will feature performances from Symphonic Tales and Kofi Mawuko.
The event starts at 1 p.m. in the gym with an opening ceremony and ribbon cutting and ends at 5. Parking is free and will be available at multiple locations.
“Over the last few months, I’ve talked a lot about how East Chattanooga is rising, which is a variety of projects, including the redevelopment of the Harriet Tubman homes site and the surrounding area, to make this part of our city stronger and safer for all of the people who live, work, and worship here,” Mayor Berke said. “For years, a big part of that vision has been to replace the Avondale YFD Center with something truly special and state-of-the-art.”
For more event information, visit cha.city/avondale.