April 28, 2014

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A ceremony to formally announce the renovation of Kelly Park, at the corner of Howard Street and North St. Peter Street, will be held Tuesday, April 29 at 3:30 pm at the Robinson Community Learning Center, 921 N. Eddy Street. Deputy Mayor Mark Neal and Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey will speak.

“This project fulfills a promise Mayor Buttigieg made to RCLC students and enhances the Near Northeast Neighborhood,” says Neal. “Many local business contributed to this revitalization effort, inspired by the initiative of the center’s students to make this positive change for the community.”

A team of Notre Dame researchers, the staff of the RCLC, along with local architect Thomas Stroka, worked with the students to understand the neighborhood’s needs and developed a “wish list” for the park. They in turn developed a master plan that includes a basketball court, new playground equipment, a community garden, and a new pavilion. Construction will begin in late May and is expected to be completed in August.

Businesses that have underwritten the project include Kuert Concrete, Ginger Valley, Hill’s True Value, and the Pokagon Indian Tribe from Four Winds Casino. Commemorative pavers will also be sold to raise additional funds for maintenance and infrastructure in cooperation with the Northeast Neighborhood Council.

The Kelly Park renovation project developed after a group of students from the “Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods” project, sponsored by the Neighborhood Resource Corporation, invited Mayor Pete Buttigieg to the RCLC in fall 2012 to discuss their ideas and to ask for help from the City and local businesses in realizing their vision.

“You can’t teach the kind of initiative these kids have shown in making this happen,” Brey says. “It has a ripple effect throughout the community, evident in the support this project has received, to see young people taking ownership in their neighborhood for a greater good.”