New facility for Salvation Army

This rendering shows the fitness center and playground, with a glimpse of the athletic field. 

The Salvation Army made a major investment for its Long Beach Citadel last decade with a new chapel and community center at Long Beach Boulevard and Spring Street.

Now the nonprofit is beginning construction of a gymnasium/fitness center, a 40,000-square-foot athletic field, a playground, community garden boxes and more next door.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled at 10 a.m. next Wednesday, Jan. 15, at the site, 3000 Long Beach Blvd. The center will be called the Donald and Priscilla Hunt Red Shield Community Center in honor of the couple's lead donation.

Estimated cost for the center is $8.5 million, and Salvation Army officials said they still are actively seeking donations. The public capital campaign is being led by UPS executive Bruce D.D. MacRae.

"Salvation Army has a place in my heart," MacRae said. "This new facility will provide a place for youngsters and their families in a part of town where there are precious few resources."

Commissioner Kenneth G. Hodder, leader of the Salvation Army's Western Territory, will speak at the event, and actor Kim Estes will act as host. Mayor Robert Garcia and former Mayor Beverly O'Neill are scheduled to attend and speak as well.

The ceremony is open to the public, and refreshments will be served. For more information or to find out how to donate, go to calsouth.salvationarmy.org.

—Harry Saltzgaver

Harry has been executive editor of Gazette Newspapers for more than 26 years. He has been in the newspaper business for more than 35 years, with experience on both weekly and metropolitan daily papers in Colorado and California.

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