Tulsa Teams With Nonprofit To Renovate Recreational Areas
TULSA, Oklahoma - Henry Penney says he raised his family at Ben Hill Park and remembers it as a place sprawling with activity and love.
"It’s a home away from home," says Penney. “It's a place you can all be together and you have love and people all here for the same reason and a positive environment.
That memory has since faded. The city stopped funding the community center and park, leaving the building to crumble.
It was set to be destroyed, until Parks and Recreation Director Anna America found a solution; partnering with The Reed Foundation.
The city will pay for exterior repairs - and the reed foundation will be in charge of the interior.
Founder Keith “Coach” Reed, spoke at Tuesday’s ceremony announcing the partnership, and says his nonprofit is dedicated to helping young people have a place to turn to and thrive.
"It's going to be people loving people, that’s what its all about," says Reed.
Once the center is repaired the city will pay nearly three million dollars to renovate the rest of the park. It will be the third park renovated through the Improve Our Tulsa initiative.
“I think that shows how much these parks mean to the community how much mean they mean to people who love Tulsa,” said Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum.
Penney says this is not just a renovation - but an investment into his family’s future.
“I got grandkids great grand kids and this can be a place they can come and play," says Penny.
Once the repairs are complete, the center will be big enough to add a STEM lab, library, and counseling center, if there's any additional funding.