(Renderings by Fearn-Clendaniel Architects)
The Kingswood Community Center began in Riverside in 1946 to give neighborhood kids a safe place after school. In 1956, they moved into a 17,000 SF center on Bowers Street – a building they still occupy today. For more than half a century, the Community Center has offered programs “for the youngest to the oldest resident,” including an early learning academy, before and after school programming, senior social, physical, and mental health activities, health screenings and classes, and so much more – all aimed towards uplifting the community and families they serve. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the REACH Riverside project team, the Kingswood Community Center is getting a long overdue, and much needed new home. Next year, we will be breaking ground with them on the new 69,500 square-foot facility on land behind today’s center.
The impact of their new space is exponential:
- They will be able to double the childcare capacity from 122 children to 250
- They will be able to offer working families Infant care
- The senior population will have a dedicated senior center for the first time
- Neighborhood kids will have a modern gymnasium with an indoor basketball court and other outdoor sports facilities
- They will be able to support more health and nutrition classes and offer more community gatherings with a new commercial kitchen
- They will be able to bring expanded medical and health offering to a historically underserved community
This transformation is an integral part of improving the quality of life and opportunity for the residents of Riverside. Seventy-three years of service does not come easy, but the commitment by the community and beyond has allowed the Center to serve those who need it most. We know we carry their trust, and take seriously the responsibility of bringing to life a building that will serve as a Wilmington safe space and community gathering spot for the next half a century.
Walk a Mile in My Shoes – Project Engineer Deonta Martin
Growing up in a community of poverty can truly make or break a person. I spent most of my life in Wilmington, using the old Kingswood Community Center just to catch a break. A project of this magnitude in this suffering community hits home for me because I spent 13 years of my life seeing and hearing things that the average young kid should never be exposed to. The new Kingswood brings not only the great social programs that come with the community center, but a safe space. A space where kids and young adults can get off the streets whether it’s for entertainment or assistance for helping to build a better future. The Riverside/ Northeast community are not the only individuals that benefit from this project, the entirety of Wilmington will be elevated. In the hearts and minds of the community it’s a feeling of relief that their lives matter and that their name was finally called. The moment that those doors open to the community there’ll be a shift of the course of the future for new generations. Kingswood is not just a construction project, it’s a symbol for making a difference from within!