Normally this would go over to the more popular blog but I want to hash it out a bit here.
Growing up in FL there was a community center that was about 3 blocks from the house. Attached to it was a swimming pool where we paid .50- 2.00? for entry and the right to splash around. From as early as I can remember to even now, I have made use in some way of this community center. As a kid the greatest thing about it were the swings, where you could swing real high and jump off. Rubbery seats that were as hot as all get out in the noonday Florida sun and metal chain link served as an object of fun. Inside the center, lame board games, basketball you couldn't play (other kids bigger & better players than you) and an adult who was busy doing something else. As I got older, it was the place I went to vote. Last year, it was the place where the family had the repast for my grandmother (not the mean one, she's still alive).
Now, when people speak of community centers around Shaw, I question if those places would serve me as well as the one in Florida. I doubt it. The focus is on kids. Well I don't have any and I'm not one. I'm sort of doubting that the ones on my block would go to a center as their parents and guardians keep them on a short leash. As in don't leave the block and be where I can see/hear you leash. There might be a few others who may get permission to go, but I wonder realistically how often they'd go, and what else they'd fill their days with?
The Kennedy Rec Center is a nice center and does get to a variey of people in the neighborhood and probably does more in the way of reaching out to community. Not just the kids, though they make up a huge block of who I see. I also see adults of the white mid-class variety on the tennis courts. There are classes offered that reach out to seniors and not-so seniors. There is meeting space, a weight room, in other words, other things for non-youths that would bring not just 1 or 2 segments of the community.