Central Gym Park
3416 S Fourth Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Current Phase: Pre-Design
Construction: Spring-Summer 2018
Please join Mary Merrill, Superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), along with President Brad Bourn, Commissioner AK Hassan and your Central community neighbors as we kick off renovations at Central Gym Park.
At its May 16 meeting, commissioners for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) approved the construction contract for a range of major investments at Central Gym Park. They include new play areas, a new full-size basketball court, a new community gathering space and paths, as well as a new multi-purpose athletic field, site grading and stormwater management.
The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) will hold a public hearing on proposed improvements for Central Gym Park on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 6:30pm at MPRB Headquarters, 2117 West River Road in Minneapolis.
In 2016 the MPRB approved the South Service Area Master Plan, including a plan for Central Gym Park. The park plan determines the type and location of facilities, the general areas of mown and naturalized landscapes and the general area of trees, and the extent and general location of pathways. The park plan does not determine the specific design of the facilities or the location of minor amenities, such as benches, drinking fountains, and signs.
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April 11, 2017 - Pastries with the Principal
May 4, 11, and 18, 2017 - Green Central School Family Nights
July 13, 2017 - Teen Focus Group
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2017 CIP: $1,100,000
2017 Park Dedication Fee: $4,452
The park began as the gym of the former Central High School. Land was subsequently acquired around the gym, but by then its name was well-established. The park board officially named the property Central Park in June 1991. It was the second property in the city to have that name. From 1883 to 1890, today’s Loring Park was named Central Park.
Acquisition and Development
The park board’s involvement in the property began after Central High School closed in 1982. The park board had acquired an option to develop a park on the site if the school were ever to close as a part of an exchange of land with the school board at Shingle Creek elementary school in 1957.
In 1987 the park board agreed to convert the gym of the former high school for park use. The gym had been built only 11 years earlier. The rest of the school, which was built in 1922, was demolished. For several years the park board had wanted to establish a park in the neighborhood, but the neighborhood was opposed to having homes razed for a park. The closing of the high school presented the park board with a way to offer recreation services in the neighborhood without removing houses. The gym was dedicated as a park facility in October 1988. A tot lot playground was created outside the gym in 1989