Councilwoman Armstrong announces Douglass Community Center back on track to reopen
Louisville – Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-8) and the Highlands Douglass Neighborhood Association are pleased to announce funding to reopen the historic home at the heart of the Douglass Community Center as the Center celebrates 50 years of serving the Louisville community.
“Once again, the people of this area will soon have a familiar place that is an important meeting and recreational spot for residents, families and children,” said Armstrong. “Many deserve credit for this great effort.”
The historic home that forms the focal point of the community center was built in 1907 and is on the National Historic Register for its period as Kentucky Home School for Girls from 1948-1972. In 1973, the property was purchased by the city with federal funding and immediately began its service as the Douglass Community Center.
It was closed to the public in 2016 because it failed to meet codes for assemblage usage. It has remained closed since that time.
For more than 5 years the Highlands Douglass Neighborhood Association, in partnership with the Louisville Parks Foundation, worked tirelessly to raise funds to reopen the facility.
Overall, the neighborhood association raised more than $50,000, with the Louisville Parks Foundation raising an additional $13,000, plus covering the full expense of the fundraising initiative.
“The neighborhood has rallied around the Douglass Community Center and worked to raise funds to secure its future. Overall, the HDNA has raised more than $50,000 for the effort showing the potential of neighborhood associations to be a force of transformative change,“ said Sherry Cornell, the President of the Highlands Douglass Neighborhood Association.
“Engaged residents are the most important asset our public spaces have. We could not have asked for a better partner than the Highlands Douglass Neighborhood Association,” said Brooke Pardue, CEO of the Louisville Parks Foundation. “After several years of fundraising and advocacy, Councilwoman Armstrong was just what this project needed to get us over the finish line.”
In this past budget cycle, Councilwoman Armstrong successfully advocated to have $100,000 added into the budget to close the funding gap and ensure the needed repairs can move forward.
“The Highlands-Douglass Neighborhood Association, a group of motivated private citizens, raised an incredible amount of money toward reopening this building,” said Armstrong. “I am so impressed with their tireless advocacy, and I am thrilled to be able to help them close the funding gap so that this historic building can once again serve the community for years to come.”
The community center will celebrate its 50-year anniversary in early 2023, and the Highlands-Douglass Neighborhood Association hopes to have the repairs completed in time to welcome the public for a celebration.