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OKC Parks modifies extended rec center hours for students during teacher walkout
Adjusting to demand as the Oklahoma teacher walkout continues, the Parks and Recreation Department will consolidate its extended services for children to three recreation centers.
Nine recreation centers have been open to school children for free from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays during the walkout. Beginning Monday, those all-day services will be consolidated to these three recreation centers:
- Douglass Recreation Center, 900 N Frederick Douglass Ave., (405) 297-1416 (EMBARK Route 022 to MLK and Douglass plus 3 blocks)
- Macklanburg Recreation Center, 2234 NW 117th Street, (405) 297-1428 (EMBARK Route 005 to NW 118th and Penn)
- Southern Oaks Recreation Center, 400 SW 66th Street, (405) 297-1449 (EMBARK Route 040 to SW 67th and Walker plus 3 blocks)
Those centers will remain open extended hours April 9-13 if the walkout continues during that time. Extended hours will be evaluated week-by-week after that if the walkout continues until summer programming begins May 29. Oklahoma City Public Schools and the Regional Food Bank are partnering with OKC Parks to provide meals for students.
Sellers Recreation Center and Melrose Recreation Center returned Friday to normal hours. They primarily serve students in the Western Heights district, which is back in session. All other recreation centers return Monday to normal hours.
“When we decided to open nine recreation centers for extended hours during the walkout, we didn’t know where demand would be. We only knew we wanted to provide our residents with a safe and engaging place for children,” said Assistant Parks Director Melinda McMillan-Miller. “After a few days, it was clear the best use of our resources is to consolidate the extended hours for these free services to the recreation centers with the most children so far, spread throughout Oklahoma City.”
An average of 16 students have been using each of the nine recreation centers during the walkout, with the most demand at Douglass, Macklanburg and Southern Oaks. The Parks Department was bracing for potentially higher demand during the uncertainty before the walkout and in its early days.
Full-time and part-time staff have re-arranged their schedules and worked extended shifts to make the longer operating hours possible.
The other six recreation centers will still be open their normal hours of 3-8:30 p.m. weekdays:
- Melrose Recreation Center, 7800 W Melrose Lane, (405) 297-1431 (EMBARK Route 038 to Council and Melrose plus 3 blocks)
- Minnis Lakeview Recreation Center, 12520 NE 36th Street, (405) 297-1432 (EMBARK Route 019 to NE 36th and Smith)
- Pilot Recreation Center, 1435 NW 2nd Street, (405) 297-1438 (EMBARK Route 009 to Main and McKinley plus 2 blocks)
- Pitts Recreation Center, 1920 N Kate Ave., (405) 297-1440 (EMBARK Route 002 to NE 20th and Lottie plus 2 blocks)
- Schilling Recreation Center, 539 SE 25th Street, (405) 297-1442 (EMBARK Route 011 to SE 25th and Central plus 2 blocks)
- Sellers Recreation Center, 8301 S Villa Ave., (405) 297-1445 (EMBARK Route 016 to SW 82nd Penn plus 6 blocks)
Summer camps and other activities at all of the rec centers are planned to keep children engaged all summer long beginning May 29. Visit okc.gov/parks for details and registration for summer programs and activities.
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