The City of Tulsa and the Reed Community Foundation are partnering together to revitalize the Ben Hill Community Center located at 210 E. Latimer Pl. in Tulsa. Ben Hill Community Center, once slated for demolition due to disrepair, will be remodeled and accommodate programming by the Reed Community Foundation.
Through this partnership, the Ben Hill Community Center will get major upgrades to the interior and exterior. The Foundation will fund and be responsible for all interior repairs, which includes major renovation of all mechanical, electrical and plumbing, as well as cosmetic items like flooring and paint. The Reed Community Foundation is expected to move into Ben Hill Community Center during spring 2020.
The City will fund and be responsible for replacing the roof and other needed exterior repairs to the building through the use of $177,000 that was allocated for Ben Hill repairs in a 2006 sales tax package. The upcoming Improve Our Tulsa package also includes an additional $2.75 million to renovate the rest of the park, including the sports court, the playground, picnic areas and sidewalks, all of which are in badly deteriorated condition.
“This is an exciting turnaround for a community that has seen too many of its recreation centers close in the last decade. Through this partnership, we believe Ben Hill Community Center can once again serve as a source of tremendous pride for our city,” Mayor G.T. Bynum said.
“The Reed Foundation is excited to move into the Ben Hill Community Center as our new location. We are thankful to partner with the City to renovate the Ben Hill Community Center and the City’s team has been wonderful to work with to make this project a reality,” Keith “Coach” Reed, Founder and Executive Director of the Reed Community Foundation, said.
“This public/private partnership is an awesome example of how local government can work with the people to address important community needs while honoring the rich history of a local icon Rev. Ben Hill,” Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said. “I believe that partnering with the Reed Community Foundation is a perfect match to revive this historic building and bring life to a space that has sat dormant for far too long.”
After renovations are complete, the new facility will be large enough to accommodate:
The Reed Community Foundation has been an important part of the North Tulsa community for more than 14 years and currently serves over 200 children each year. It currently offers programs and services which include physical conditioning, after-school activities, tutoring, life-skills education, character building development, and others. However, the organization has outgrown its current facilities at its two locations, 1731 N. Lewis and 2219 N. Lewis, and the Ben Hill Community Center was a perfect fit. The relocation will allow the foundation to serve a greater number of youth and families, plus expand the programs and services provided to the community.