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Charles Black Center to begin major renovations in September

There’s been a lot of talk online surrounding the closure of the Charles Black Center in South Bend. It is, in fact, closing down, but it’s just temporary. One year from now, it’ll open up a whole new facility.

“It’ll be about double its size when it’s said and done,” said Aaron Perri, Executive Director of Venues Parks and Arts in South Bend.

The 1 year, $4.5 million project plan to renovate and expand the center is slated to begin in late September 2017. Perri says the 49-year-old facility will be increasing about 50% in size.

“The gym will be twice as large, new class facilities, we’re adding a music studio, a bike shop, the workout facility will be twice as large, enlarging the kitchen. Not even sure you’ll recognize it as the existing Charles Black Center,” said Perri.

The center will close down for construction during that time, but don’t go too far. Perri says the planning is based off your ideas.

“We want to be true to kind of what’s happened there through the years. These are all things that the users of the Charles Black Center have asked for. They helped develop this plan and we’re excited to make it a reality,” said Perri.

When ABC 57 asked about the vision for this facility, Perri says there will be no comparison.

“This’ll be truly the premier recreation center. We don’t have anything else like it in the parks system. So it’s kind of a ‘you asked for it, you dreamed about it, now you’re going to get it’ type of reality,” said Perri.

All of the programs will continue just like normal, they will just be in different places. Perri says he’s working with nearby locations to make sure those programs can continue at local schools and churches while construction is underway.

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