Community invited to groundbreaking for community center expansion on April 28

Asheville Parks & Recreation invites community members to celebrate the expansion of Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr., Southside Community Center (285 Livingston Street) during a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, April 28.

Brief remarks from Mayor Esther Manheimer, Parks & Recreation Director D. Tyrell McGirt, and a student from the after school program begin promptly at 4:30 p.m. Games, music, prizes, and a cookout follow the groundbreaking until 6:30 p.m.

“We’re excited to see the community’s vision for this recreation center come to fruition,” said McGirt. “Not only will the indoor gymnasium and additional meeting rooms provide ample flexibility for residents of all ages to remain active, an outdoor basketball court and new neighborhood pool deliver new spaces to connect with the outdoors and other neighbors. Grant Southside Center was always envisioned as a centerpiece to build cultural, recreational, and community experiences that celebrate the legacy of the neighborhood.”

Grant Southside Center opened in 2010 with an auditorium, classrooms, offices, and open outdoor green space. This has been referred to as the Cultural Phase with a focus on performing, cultural, and visual arts. 

From the beginning, neighborhood voices prioritized an indoor gymnasium, flexible meeting space, and outdoor areas emphasizing wellness, active living, and exercise in the next phase, the Recreation Phase. When a professional assessment of nearby Walton Street Pool concluded repairs will no longer extend the life of the facility as a swimming pool, the design for the community center was altered to include a modern outdoor neighborhood swimming pool with toddler play zone, lounge deck, picnic area, restrooms, and changing rooms to ensure a truly multi-generational space.

drawing of interior of gym to be constructed   drawing of zero entry pool


During its meeting on January 11, 2022, Asheville City Council unanimously approved a contract with Harper Corp. For more information on the project, visit the City of Asheville’s website.

Asheville Parks & Recreation

Established in 1954, the Asheville Parks & Recreation Department manages a unique collection of more than 65 public parks, playgrounds, and open spaces throughout the city in a system that also includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, Riverside Cemetery, sports fields and courts, and community centers that offer a variety of wellness-, education-, and culture-related programs for Ashevillians of all ages. With 8 miles of paved greenways and numerous natural surface trails, its complete portfolio acts as the foundation of a vibrant hub for the people of Asheville to connect with their neighbors and explore the natural beauty of a livable and walkable city.

Driven by the promise that Asheville is a better and safer place when everyone from infants to retirees has the opportunity to be supported, healthy, and successful, Asheville Parks & Recreation was the first nationally-accredited municipal recreation department in the United States. For the latest updates, follow the department on Facebook @aprca and Instagram @ashevilleparksandrecreation or visit