Facility's renovations are right down bowlers' alleys nTC Schmoke attends event for center's reopening


Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke clashed with Gov. Parris N. Glendening's office last night in an alley.

A bowling alley.

Schmoke bowled the first ball in a contest pitting the city against Glendening's staff to mark the reopening of the Baltimore Neighborhood Recreation Facility's Inner City Bowling Center on Pennsylvania Avenue in Upton.

The center will open to the public at 10 a.m. today after being closed for months for $750,000 in state-funded renovations, including 32 computerized tenpin lanes, a concession seating area and renovated restrooms.

The Department of Recreation and Parks celebrated the reopening with about 60 city and state officials, community leaders and recreation and parks staff members at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last night at the center.

"When we can have facilities like this added to all the work we're doing in our neighborhoods, we're going to see crime go down and school attendance go up," Schmoke said last night at the bowling lanes. "This is just a part of the rebirth of Pennsylvania Avenue."

The center contained used equipment when it opened in 1983, according to Annette Stenhouse, a recreation and parks spokeswoman. Then called the Shake & Bake Family Fun Center -- a project of former Baltimore Colt football player Glenn Doughty -- the facility included a roller-skating rink on the first floor and bowling in the basement.

The city bought the Family Fun Center in 1985, renaming it the Baltimore Neighborhood Recreation Facility, Stenhouse said.

Walter Branch, 60, of Baltimore called the center his "home away from home" and said he has bowled there almost every day since it opened. Bowlers had noticed problems such as damaged gutters and faulty machinery for three years, he said.

"Now the machines are up to par and the look of the place is much better," Branch said yesterday. "It's a place that a man wouldn't mind taking his family to."

The bowling center is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. The cost is $2 per game from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and $2.50 per game from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Seniors pay $1. Information: Baltimore Neighborhood Recreation Facility, 410-728-7608.

Pub Date: 12/19/98

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