Phoenix Recreation Center Cleared to Make Way for Salvation Army Kroc Center

The Salvation Army has completed the demolition of its 1968-built community recreation center in south Phoenix to accomodate the next phase of construction of a new Kroc Center.

The Ray and Joan Kroc Center Phoenix South Mountain was announced in 2006, and its initial construction began in March 2010, according to Christy Jones, marketing manager for the facility.

Phoenix is one of six cities in the Salvation Army’s western territory to receive a grant from the $1.5 billion left to the nonprofit by Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.

The Kroc Grant for Phoenix is $64 million, half of which is designated for capital improvements, with the remaining $32 million set aside for an endowment fund. As with all the other Kroc Centers, the Phoenix facility is required to raise a portion of funds from the community to qualify for the grant. Jones says the nonprofit is on track to raise the $15 million in local contributions stipulated by the Kroc Grant. Those funds also will be split between capital improvements and endowment.

When completed, the 147,000-square-foot facility’s fitness features will include cardio and strength equipment; group exercise studios; an indoor pool with a slide and lazy river; a 0.6-mile indoor track; a wellness center; and indoor and outdoor sports courts.

Although the grand opening of the Phoenix Kroc is slated for May 18, 2012, the facility already is recruiting for several positions, including a sports and fitness coordinator and an aquatics coordinator, on its website.

Ten other Kroc Centers are scheduled to open in 2012, which will bring the total number of facilities built with Kroc funds to 27.

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