Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese, along with newly appointed Parks and Recreation Superintendent Randy Norton, held a press conference Friday to discuss preliminary plans to bring programming back to the City’s Tolson Community and Youth Center.
“One of the first agenda items Randy and I discussed– even prior to him being selected for the position – was the importance of the Tolson Center,” Neese said. “I expressed my continued desire to develop an agreeable strategy to re-open the Center so that it can continue to serve our youth and other community members. We have a short-term
solution that we are able to present today and hope to present a more comprehensive, long-term plan to the City Council this spring.”
Happening immediately, Neese announced that the youth summer camp would be returning to the Tolson Center. The summer camp will be offered Monday, June 10 through Friday, July 26. The seven-week camp will be $60 per student, with 50 spots available.
Neese said he is optimistic about a new start for the Center, and his administration has already engaged the greater Elkhart community in preparing for its future. On Saturday, March 16, students from Star Martial Arts will participate in a beautification day both inside and outside the Center.
“In just the short time that I have been with the City of Elkhart, I have witnessed first-hand the passion and generosity of this community,” Norton said. “I look forward to collaborating with residents and utilizing my experience with other municipalities and organizations to return this community asset to its full potential.”
By a vote of 4-5, the City Council rejected a funding request by Mayor Neese in June that would have allowed the Center to remain open through the end of 2018. Neese and his administration continue to evaluate long-term staffing and other needs at the Tolson Center. They intend to present that plan – in conjunction with a funding request – at a forthcoming City Council meeting.