Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and District 6 City Commissioner Bakari F. Burns, pictured above, officially broke ground this week to mark the beginning of construction for the Grand Avenue Neighborhood Center in Holden Heights.
Jon Busdeker first wrote about the project for us HERE in November 2017, when the City announced its interest in moving the Orlando Pottery Studio two miles south into the former Grand Avenue Elementary School.
“Redeveloping Grand Avenue is part of our efforts to invest in city neighborhoods by providing residents with amenities and programs to help them thrive,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “I look forward to having children’s laughter once again fill these historic halls as we return Grand Avenue to a place of compassion and support for the community.”
Expected to be complete in the fall of 2021, the new neighborhood center will feature a gymnasium and be the official new home for the aforementioned Orlando Pottery Studio. These improvements will also expand City services to offer youth programs as well. This includes recreation and sports programs, Parramore Kidz Zone (PKZ), and after-school and summer programs.
In addition to the neighborhood center construction, the Grand Avenue Park is scheduled for a concurrent renovation set to begin this summer. Completion is expected for this upcoming October. This renovation project is facilitated by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) as part of their NRPA Parks Build Community project.
The 12-acre park will include multiple playgrounds, fitness equipment, lighting, drinking fountains, and other park equipment thanks to in-kind equipment and service donations totaling over $450,000.