Aug 12, 2022 - Sports

Pistons seek input for Rouge Park rec center

Juliana Fulton, Detroit's deputy parks planner, answered questions and heard input from residents about the new recreation center coming to Rouge Park.
Juliana Fulton, Detroit's deputy parks planner, answered questions and heard input from residents about the new recreation center coming to Rouge Park. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

The $20 million donation from Pistons owner Tom Gores to construct a new 25,000 sq. ft. recreation center at Rouge Park won't be the end of the organization's involvement with the project.

Driving the news: The city's parks and rec department and the Pistons held a meeting at Brennan Pool Wednesday night for input from residents on what kind of amenities they want included.

What they're saying: Erika Swilley, the Pistons' vice president of community and responsibility, tells Axios the Pistons aren't going to just cut a check to build the building, which will be owned and operated by the city.

  • "We'll run camps and clinics that are free to the community," she says. "There are ideas to bring in services that you might not see at a typical community center."

State of play: Less than 60% of Detroiters are within 15 miles of a recreation center.

  • The largest indoor recreation access gap in the city is in the Cody Rouge neighborhood, one with a high youth and senior population.
  • The proposed facility will provide access for over 24,000 residents and allow for year-round use.
  • Planners are teasing areas for concessions, laundry, internet access, classes, a fitness center and gymnasium.

Yes, but: Several residents who spoke up Wednesday were disappointed to learn there are no plans to construct an indoor pool for winter use.

What's next: Construction is set to begin next summer.

  • You can provide input used to shape what's inside the recreation center here.
  • There are two more community meetings set for this fall and next year.
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