Memphis City Council allows construction of new Ed Rice Community Center

Updated: May. 23, 2019 at 4:27 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The city of Memphis has taken the next step to build a new Ed Rice Community Center.

Ask people in Frayser about the importance of the Ed Rice Community Center and they'll tell you something like this:

“It's been for a while, this pillar, this main point of the community. It keeps children safe, it keeps them occupied, it keeps seniors engaged,” said Michalyn Easter-Thomas, resident.

Michalyn Easter-Thomas lives in Frayser and started a non-profit to help the community spread local resources.

She was overjoyed to see Mayor Jim Strickland announce on Twitter that the Memphis City Council has adopted a resolution allowing construction to begin on a new Ed Rice Community Center, as soon as the design is approved later this year.

“This new influx of funding that’s going to go to the building is awesome. It’s phenomenal,” said Easter-Thomas.

The center provides everything residents need, from a place to vote, to a cool pool to chill off in the summer months.

However, the building has aged and has had a lot of problems.

Water leaks from the ceiling into buckets and last winter, the community center closed for fear of mold. Mold tests came back negative.

“This is long overdue for Frayser and definitely when it becomes cemented and getting started, we’re going to see an uproar of excitement,” said Easter-Thomas.

Easter-Thomas says residents want the design to include input from people in the area.

“The designs need to ensure that they bring in the voice of the community,” said Easter-Thomas.

The firm tasked with building those designs held a community meeting in January for input for this important community pillar.

No word on when the design will be complete.

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