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Gov. Hogan and his Community Initiatives Office Celebrate Grand Opening of West Baltimore’s MLK, Jr. Recreation Center

BALTIMORE – Governor Larry Hogan, joined by the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, today celebrated the grand opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation in West Baltimore.  The recreation center is a newly renovated facility that was deeded over from Baltimore City to the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, which is headed by Rev. Errol D. Gilliard

Arthur Kirk, a firefighter and the son of former Delegate Ruth Kirk, invested $30,000 of his own money into the rehabilitation of the MLK, Jr. Recreation Center building, Center, located at 122 North Vincent Street, in the Franklin Square community in West Baltimore. 

The Governor’s Community Initiatives Office has been able to help Mr. Kirk secure resources in the form of 20 computers, 15 iPads, a community garden, furniture, a ping pong table, the renovation of a basketball court and monetary donations from the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Center for Social Change, Kaiser Permanente, Bell Nurseries, State Farm, and the Rocksprings Foundation.  In addition, the recreation center has received $10,000 in grant money for Delegate Ruth Kirk’s Annual Fun Festival, which is held in August in memory of Delegate Kirk’s service and commitment to the community. The center will be used as a recreational space for members of the community to play and learn.

“Governor Hogan, the Community Initiatives office staff and I are extremely proud of this combined effort between the community and the private sector,” said Executive Director Steven J. McAdams.  “We’d like to thank the corporate and nonprofit sponsors that contributed to the revitalization of the MLK, Jr. Recreation Center.  Also, I’d like to applaud the financial and personal sacrifice of Arthur Kirk that has led to this incredible community initiative in West Baltimore.”

Governor Hogan also announced today $1 million for job placement of city youth, which will be allocated to the Youth Works and Hire One Youth programs through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.  In addition, Governor Hogan announced $4.15 million will be provided in recovery funding for Baltimore City. The funds will be utilized for business recovery loans, homeownership assistance programs, and targeted assistance for significant façade improvements for impacted Baltimore City structures.

The Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives advises Gov. Hogan on how to best serve diverse communities & coordinates community and volunteer activities across Maryland. 

Photos from this afternoon’s event are available for download here.

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