South Portland ready to reopen Redbank Community Center

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Redbank Community Center is scheduled to reopen Nov. 13 after being renovated and upgraded at a cost of more than $270,000.

With the exception of cribbage games, the building has been closed since Oct. 16.

Renovations included gymnasium improvements, a new kitchen, exterior repairs a new security system and a fiber-optic network. Work on the nearly 13,500-foot center at 95 MacArthur Circle West will be paid for with funds from a $272,000 Community Development Block Grant. 

Kevin Adams, the city’s director of parks, recreation, and waterfront, said the CDBG funding was not enough to build a new addition, as desired by residents last summer, so the money was used instead for renovations.

“The existing facility was opened in 1998 and consists of a gym, a small multi-purpose room, and a kitchen. The facility houses a teen center, Teen Extreme Summer Camp, youth basketball practices and games, senior cribbage games, gym and party rentals, monthly community dinners, as well as meetings and other recreation department and local organization programs,” Adams said in a memo to City Manager Scott Morelli in August. “Many of the amenities in the facility are outdated and in need of repair.”

The gymnasium has a new floor and three more pickleball courts; two volleyball courts were stripped. The old wood bleachers were removed and new ones will be added by the end of the month. 

A new rubber floor was laid over the floor of the same material. A new logo, new lines marking courts, basketball winches, and repairs to the divider curtain were also made.

Anthony Johnson, recreation operations manager, said the pickleball courts, although finished, are not yet open for play. Programming is still being scheduled and he anticipates the new courts will be in use starting in January. In the meantime, the South Portland Community Center, at 21 Nelson Road, has six pickleball courts.

Johnson said the entire kitchen was gutted and made ADA compliant, including a roll-up bar so people in wheelchairs can cook. There are also new appliances, flooring, cabinets and countertops.

Exterior improvements included patching the roof and waterproofing the outside of the masonry building, which Johnson said was “retaining water.”

Adams said Redbank Community Center was built by the city with a bond in 1997, and programming has been offered there since 1998. The community center adjoined Redbank Village Elementary School, but was designed to be freestanding.

The school, later renamed Mary F. Marsh Elementary, was demolished in 2007. 

 Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or msochan@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.

Redbank Community Center, 95 MacArthur Circle West in South Portland, has undergone improvements which include repairs and upgrades to the gymnasium, kitchen, roof, and exterior.

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