Weekend events to usher in Kroc Center

The Salvation Army has scheduled a weekend of events to give the public a preview of what they can see and do on Monday, the official opening of the Kroc Center.

The 52,000-square foot center, formally called the The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center,
is a state-of-the-art recreation, fitness and creative arts community center located at the Yankie Stadium site in east Biloxi.

“This is a place where dreams will begin, be nurtured and be realized,” says Maj. Terry Ray, area commander and Kroc administrator. “Everyone in the community will be encouraged to dream big and foundations will be laid through the programs and staff for those dreams to come true.”

The center, at the corner of Division and Lee streets, offers a chapel/performing arts center with cutting-edge audio/visual capabilities; full-size gymnasium for indoor recreation sports; weight and exercise rooms; dance and aerobic studio; men’s, women’s and family locker rooms; a Fellowship/Banquet hall; classrooms; meeting rooms; and art and music studios.

The Kroc Center also has an indoor aquatics center with zero-degree entry, lap pool for lessons, exercise and sports programs and a two-story water slide, splash pad, lazy river and hydrotherapy bench. The outdoor recreation area will include a stadium complex with a full athletic field, a quarter-mile track and visitor stands.

Memberships will be offered on several levels: day-to-day ($3, youth; $5, adults), monthly and quarterly rates, or an annual family rate for $500. Several payment options are available, and the Salvation Army is waiving a $50 registration fee as part of its pre-opening membership drive. To see detailed membership information, click here.

The Kroc Center also will offer membership discounts for the military (active and retired) and police, fire and EMS personnel.

The weekend lineup: Olympic swimmer Neil Walker and members of the New Orleans Hornets Honeybees will be the headliners during Saturday’s open house, where the public can tour the facility. To see the schedule for Saturday, and Sunday, when Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant will speak at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, click here.

Take a video tour: You can see an informal tour of the impressive facility, as guided by Biloxi’s Barry Lyons, athletics coordinator at the Kroc Center, by clicking here.

Webcasting: This week’s City Desk webcast features comments from Kroc Center PR and membership director Meghan Calhoun. To listen to the program, click here.

News and notes

Weekend entertainment: To see the weekend entertainment lineup, courtesy of listings from the Mississippi Gulf Coast Convention and Visitors Bureau, click here.

Bike Biloxi: The September Bike Biloxi Dinner Ride takes place Tuesday, and it’s actually two rides, one at 5 p.m. and a second at 6 p.m. Cyclists can take part in one or both of the free rides. The 6.75-mile route begins at the Bond-Grant House on Howard Avenue and ends at Mary Mahoney’s, where drinks and dinner are planned. Details: Main Street Biloxi, 435-6339, or email kmiller@biloxi.ms.us

Council meeting: The Biloxi City Council faces an agenda of more than two dozen measures when it meets Tuesday at 1:30 at City Hall. Among the issues: zoning to allow an addition to an outdoor storage facility on Eisenhower Drive, appointments to the Biloxi Housing Authority and Gulf Regional Planning Commission, approval of taxicab permits, several measures for on-going Katrina-related construction projects, and funding for the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. To see the complete agenda and available resolutions, click here.