By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun
7:16 AM EDT, July 15, 2013
The first of four new Baltimore recreation centers will open Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the converted pavilion in Clifton Park.
The Rita R. Church Community Center, named for the late councilwoman, features a computer room, large multipurpose room and kitchen. The facility, which overlooks the Clifton Park pool, has exposed wooden beams, skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows.
In all, the city has set aside $19 million to construct the Church center and two others. Plans also include the overhaul of the Virginia Baker facility in Patterson Park.
Over the last year, the city has closed about 20 centers that have transitioned to private operation. The city continues to run about 35 centers.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young will join others for the 10 a.m. ceremony at 2101 Saint Lo Drive.
Construction of the Morrell Park rec center is slated for completion in September 2013. Renovation on the Virginia Baker facility is expected to be finished in December 2015.
A fourth center in Cherry Hill is being negotiated as part of Baltimore schools' 10-year capital plan.
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