B’ham Parks and Recs Board to vote on closing a dozen recreation centers

Fight to stop vote on rec center closures

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A dozen community centers could soon close in Birmingham due to COVID-19-induced budget shortfalls, according to city leaders.

The Parks and Recreation Board is scheduled to vote on the proposal Wednesday morning, but Council President William Parker submitted a resolution to block the vote.

The resolution will go before the city council Tuesday morning. Parker said he hoped to council voted in his favor as it would give all parties more time to come up with a better solution.

“Closing down 12 rec centers is a nonstarter. It’s dead on arrival,” said Parker.

According to the council press release, the Park Board submitted the proposal days prior to the scheduled vote during Thursday’s Special-Called Committee of the Whole meeting.

Four of 12 recreation centers are in Parker’s district.

“Rec centers are the backbones of our communities in all 99 of our communities, so it’s important that the rec centers stay open and viable,” said Parker.

Parker, who also sits on the board, is calling for the parks and recs administration to leave their offices at Legion Field and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and work out of the rec centers on a rolling schedule to keep them open.

“Do we have it where some are open three days a week, four days a week,” he pondered.

WBRC reached out to the Park Board for information on how each site was chosen. We have to schedule an interview with them and will update this story when more information is available.

Locations proposed for closure:

  • Roosevelt
  • Wiggins
  • Henry-Crompton
  • Harrison
  • Sandusky
  • Hooper City
  • Howze-Sanford
  • North Birmingham
  • Harriman
  • Brownsville
  • Inglenook
  • Willowwood

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