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Playground coming to new center

Board approves McMillen Park indoor project

– The new McMillen Park Community Center has added another play piece.

Board members of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department approved a 2,500-square-foot indoor playground Thursday. The $225,000 activity center will feature climbing areas, at least one slide and vertical game boards with tic-tac-toe for children 5 to 12.

The community center, a former ice arena at the park, opened last month.

The center also includes an arena with rubberized, multipurpose athletic flooring that can accommodate a soccer field and three pickleball courts and a walking track.

Another arena has 1,024 bleacher seats and a new hardwood floor for two full-size basketball courts.

There also is a computer lab with 16 stations. The new playground, expected to debut by fall, has room for 90 children.

The southeast-side community center, at 3901 Abbott St., came to fruition through $2 million in Legacy money from the lease and sale of the city’s old electric utility. The entire project was estimated to cost about $4.5 million, with the first phase costing about $1.9 million.

Steve Schuhmacher, superintendent of grounds and improvements for Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, said the indoor playground will be primarily paid for with donations.

“We’re still accepting money,” he said.

The community center also has aerobics classes, soccer and basketball leagues. Multipurpose rooms house a dance studio, reading room, library and art room.

All-day admission is $1.

Since its June 7 grand opening, officials said the community center has attracted 250 to 300 children daily.