The $8.3 million expansion of the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Community Center is complete

And there’s a block party to celebrate.

A rendering of a large community center as seen from above with solar panels on the roof, a basketball court, and a pool.

New outdoor features for the center include a rain garden, picnic tables, and solar panels.

Rendering via the City of Asheville

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Cue the ribbon cutting, because it’s officially time to celebrate the completed expansion of the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Community Center.

Years of planning + 15 months of construction

The project to update Southside’s community center broke ground in May 2022 — but D. Tyrell McGirt, Asheville Parks & Recreation Director, calls it “a years-long journey” to build a center that serves Southside and helps residents thrive.

The center launched its first phase back in 2010, building an auditorium, classrooms, and office space.

This most recent expansion addressed what was still needed in Southside: recreational offerings. Now, after 15 months of construction and an $8.3 million investment, it’s time to welcome the community inside.

A pile of dirt surrounded by people holding shovels and bulldozers to mark the community center's groundbreaking.

This latest round of expansion was know as the “Recreation Phase” for the community center.

Photo via the City of Asheville

Shiny and new

The Southside community center now sports a gymnasium, an outdoor basketball court, more community rooms, and plenty of open space meant for socializing and studying.

It also features an outdoor swimming pool, a facility added to the expansion plans after the Asheville City Council voted to close Walton Street Pool in 2021.

As for recreational activities, Southside residents are invited to come by the center and share their ideas for programming. So far basketball, water aerobics, and fitness classes are on the menu.

Celebrate good times

The Southside community is invited to attend Asheville Parks & Recreation’s block party and ribbon cutting on Friday, August 4, 5:30-8 p.m. to tour the facilities and celebrate with music, drink, food, and games.

The Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Community Center is at 285 Livingston St. and is open Monday-Friday starting at 10 a.m.