Oct
10

New Facility on Chicago’s Far South Side Will Benefit Residents of All Ages

October 10, 2010

Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood is about to get a new center and a ton of job openings.

Ground was broken this week for the Salvation Army’s new Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on an abandoned industrial site on the city’s Far South Side.

The 33-acre Kroc Center will house Chicago’s largest variety of educational, sports, arts and community support programs under one roof.

Kroc Center in Chicago

The proposed Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on Chicago's South Side.

.

The Kroc Center will include:

*Baseball and softball diamonds

*Fully equipped gymnasiums

*An aquatic center

*A water park

*Running tracks

*Tennis courts

*A golf training area

*A fitness center

The facility will offer classes and workshops for people of all ages including:

*Job training

*GED preparation

*Computer literacy

*Financial planning

*Parenting

*Nutrition

In addition, the center will house:

*A performing arts center

*An outdoor amphitheater

*A media center with recording video production studios

*Studios for instrument, vocal and art instruction

The Kroc Center is expected to provide:

*More than 200 construction jobs

*100 permanent full-time jobs

*100 part-time jobs

*50 summer jobs

*Many internships

Clean-up for the project was supported by a $5 million grant to the city of Chicago from Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program.

“The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center represents a historic investment in the Far South Side of Chicago,” said Governor Quinn. “This center will provide a positive alternative to violence for our youth, and will continue to strengthen the economy by putting hundreds of people to work and giving the entire community access to critical job training programs.”

Joan Kroc

The generous Joan Kroc.

So where is the money coming from to build the $160-million center? Do you recognize the name Kroc?

Ray A. Kroc founded McDonald’s. When his window, Joan Kroc, died in 2003, she gifted to the Salvation Army the largest donation ever made to a private charity for the specific purpose of building state-of-the-art facilities in under-served areas of the country.

About $110 million will be used from the Kroc estate to build this new Chicago center. There will also be other private donations.

For more information about the Kroc Center, visit www.kroccenterchicago.org.

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Tracey

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