CELEBRATING UPGRADES AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE
Dedication of upgrades at MLK Therapeutic Center
Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, in partnership with Councilmember Bernard C. Parks, the Department of Public Works' Bureau of Engineering, General Services and the Community Development Department (CDD), dedicated improvements at Martin Luther King, Jr. Therapeutic Center in South Los Angeles.
The $1.2 million renovation project included construction of a new basketball court, tennis court, swing set, irrigation system, nighttime lighting and security camera system. The Architectural Division of the Bureau of Engineering in the Department of Public Works designed the upgrades; the city's Department of General Services performed the work and CDD funded the improvement project.
The dedication ceremony was also an African American Heritage Month celebration and coincided with the 20-year anniversary of the release of Nelson Mandela from prison. Mandela, like Martin Luther King Jr., was a fierce advocate for equality and civil rights.
The recent upgrades comprise the third of four phases of upgrades planned for the site. Phase one consisted of renovation of the baseball field and the addition of a handicap-accessible playground. Phase two involved the construction of the Mary McLeod Bethune Library, a LEED-certified green building, and phase four will involve the construction of a synthetic soccer field.
The new security camera system features 10 surveillance cameras that will be monitored at two separate locations, and new lighting was installed at the tennis and basketball courts. In addition to the universally-accessible playground, the park also includes a therapeutic recreation center, which provides a variety of programs for people with disabilities in South Los Angeles.
Children from adjacent Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School attended the dedication, as well as City Engineer Gary Lee Moore and Pacific Region Superintendent Mark Mariscal from Recreation and Parks.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Therapeutic Center is located at 3916 South Western Avenue and provides a variety of programs for people with disabilities ages 5 to adult in the South Los Angeles area. Center activities encourage and empower individuals to express themselves through recreation activities. These programs help participants to be creative, develop motor skills, increase self-esteem and enhance their leisure interests. For more information about the center call (213) 847-0878.
Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2698