EduRec center to blend fun, learning for inner-city youth
BY MIKE AVERILL World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 09, 2013
3/09/13 at 8:29 AM
A north Tulsa ministry is transforming a former elementary school building into a youth and family fun center.
EduRec, located in the old Wiley Post Elementary building at 5424 N. Madison Ave., will be an academic and fun facility designed for inner-city youth, said Pastor Melvin Cooper, pastor at World Won for Christ Family Life Ministries.
"It's going to be a very unique facility designed for young people to enjoy themselves and get free food and play if their grades are good," Cooper said.
The cafeteria of the old school is being transformed into a food court, and the gymnasium will house a video arcade.
"This is in an area right in the heart of north Tulsa and we think it will curtail crime and give kids a place to go. It will have an Incredible Pizza atmosphere," Cooper said.
Cooper spent the last five years planning and gathering video games, bumper cars and miniature golf equipment as other places closed down.
"I feel like it will really have an impact on the young people here," he said.
Most recently, the building was used by the YWCA for childcare. Cooper said the 53,000-square-foot building was purchased from the YWCA and that the agency will retain a presence there.
The ministry has also partnered with Asbury United Methodist Church, which has helped with the renovation.
Cooper said the walls will be painted with murals of positive figures and quotes.
"Our hope is to influence kids in the area to want to do positive things in the community," he said.
The building sits on 15 acres of land and the plan is to have a full-size football field, as well as baseball and soccer areas.
Admission to the center will be $2 but Charles Harper, executive director of World Won Development, said the plan is to work with area schools and reward those kids who work hard with free admission.
For adults, the center will have two workout rooms and an aerobics room.
"Adults can bring their kids and get a nice workout," Harper said.
"There's definitely a need for this, too."
The center will also offer mentoring, classroom exercises and after-school workshops for kids who need help getting better grades.
"We want to give them the incentive and encouragement to do better in school," Harper said.
The grand opening to the public is 10 a.m. March 30 at the center, 5424 N. Madison Ave.
Regular business hours are Thursday and Friday 4-9 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
A ribbon cutting is set for 11 a.m. March 16.
For more information, call 918-430-3947
Original Print Headline: Come out and play
Mike Averill 918-581-8489
Workers install lighting Friday in what will be a giant arcade room inside the former elementary school/YWCA day care site, which is being transformed into the new EduRec center, a north Tulsa youth and family fun center with a focus on education. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Charles Harper shows off work done to the rear of the former elementary school/YWCA day care site. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Charles Harper shows off new playground equipment Friday in the courtyard of the former elementary school/YWCA day care site, which is being transformed into the new EduRec center, a north Tulsa youth and family fun center with a focus on education. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
The former elementary school/YWCA day care site is being transformed into the new EduRec center. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World