Save Our Center
In June of 2014, Metro Parks announced its decision to close the Douglass Community Center(DCC) due to an inadequate fire alarm and escape system in the main building. The Douglass Community Center is an amazing place where people from all walks of life are able to cross paths, play together, and learn about each other. Its closure would be a true loss to the city of Louisville. Therefore, the Highlands Douglass Neighborhood Association(HDNA) intervened and worked with Councilmen Tom Owen and Jim King to secure funding to address the immediate fire safety issues and keep the Center open. However, the long term picture for the Douglass Community Center was still uncertain, and the HDNA formed an ad hoc committee, Save Our Center(SOC), to work towards securing the future of the DCC.
Save Our Center has investigated this matter extensively. We have interviewed the people who use the Center, talked to the DCC staff, and met with Metro Parks representatives. Metro Parks shared a lengthy list of renovations and repairs with estimates that seem daunting. Their solution involved moving Adapted Leisure programming to the Cyril Allgeier Community Center but did not address the structural problems at the Douglass Community Center. We would like to see the Douglass Community Center renovated and to maintain the current programming, and we have been working on a plan to make that possible. After further investigation including evaluating the site, staff, and programming at Allgeier, and working with architects and contractors to evaluate the DCC facility and devise a realistic schedule of repairs and renovations, the SOC has developed this strategy:
• Ask the Louisville city government to allocate $250,000 to address fire safety issues and add accessible restrooms to the gymnasium.
• Work with State Representative Mary Lou Marzian to obtain state funding in 2016 for a second phase of renovations.
• Seek private and corporate funding for functional and cosmetic renovations which will secure the future of the Douglass Community Center.
We believe that an investment in the Douglass Community Center is a wise and worthwhile investment in the future of the greater community of Louisville. We are asking Mayor Fischer and the Louisville Metro Council to allocate $250,000 in the 2015-16 city budget for fire safety modifications and the addition of accessible restrooms to the gym.
If you would like help the Highlands-Douglass Neighborhood Association protect and update the Douglass Community Center, please make a tax deductible donation to the Center using PayPal. No PayPal account required.