The City of Racine, through a partnership with the State of Wisconsin, is investing nearly $65 million in the Lincoln King Neighborhood to build a community center, health center, and to improve housing in the neighborhood.
The King Center, strategically located at the heart of the neighborhood and close to the Julian-Thomas elementary school, will provide an array of programs, including a gymnasium, recreational spaces, classrooms, and additional features identified by community members. The center aims to address
health, wellness, and social disparities of the neighborhood and beyond.
The existing King Center plays an important role in the community as a place to gather, participate in recreational activities, and learn. Its legacy will be honored in the new building. The building will continue the legacy to build a foundation for the next generation. It is
essential that community members continue to be involved in the design process to ensure it serves the community in the best way possible.
- This is a $65 million investment in the Lincoln-King neighborhood to build a new building for the King Community Center and community health clinic. The investment is a mix of public and private funds, including a $1 million pledge from Ascension Health toward the project.
- Racine is the most-populous city in Wisconsin without a federally qualified health center (FQHC). FQHC’s serve residents with limited incomes and those who have inadequate or no health insurance.
- The new building will continue the old services seamlessly, ensuring there is no gap in programming.
- The new building will be larger than the current one, perhaps as much as twice as big. In addition, the Community Health Center will provide tens of thousands of additional square feet of space.
- Convenient parking is crucial, especially for seniors and those with disabilities. The design team is studying how much parking is needed to serve users, while balancing other needs.
- March 29, 2023: Kitchen Table Style Community Conversation with Youth Basketball Players, 27 participants
- March 15, 2023: Kitchen Table Style Community Conversation, 16 participants
- March 4, 2023: King Center Open House, 45 participants
- February 22, 2023: Kitchen table conversation - Community members and Julian Thomas families
- February 14-28, 2023: Black History Month Art Activity, 160 entries
- February 10-11, 2023: City of Racine Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Basketball Tournament, 229 survey respondents
- January 12, 2023: Family Night at Julian Thomas Elementary School, 50 respondents
- December 13, 2022: Community Conversation at the King Center, 77 participants
- December 8, 2022: Community Conversation with King Center Staff, 4 participants
- December 8, 2022: Jammin’ with Santa at Julian Thomas Elementary School, 50 respondents
- November 29, 2022: Julian Thomas Community Advisory Board Meeting, 8 participants
- November 16, 2022: Racine Bounces Back Job & Resource Fair, 70 respondents
- November 9, 2022: Community Conversation at the King Center, 35 participants
- November 4, 2022: Julian Thomas Community School Partnership Meeting, 10 participants
- September 20, 2022: Racine Common Council votes to award architectural contract to SmithGroup
- March 11, 2022: Governor Tony Evers announces that the state will contribute $20 million to the Racine Community Health Clinic development
- May 1, 2019: City announces Racine Community Health Clinic
Here is a sample of the input that the city and design team have received through the community engagement process:
- Youth programming: including space for children to play, do homework, and participate in music, art, and theater
- Comprehensive health services: including medical, dental, and mental health care, social-emotional learning, and conflict resolution
- Inclusivity: services and facilities specifically catered to people who speak Spanish and people with disabilities
- Participants also expressed a desire for amenities such as arts education, flexible hours, smart technology, fresh food options, outdoor green space, and athletics
- On December 8, 2022, students from Julian Thomas Elementary School shared their ideas for the new King Center, including games such as basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, gymnastics, ballet, soccer, and space for playing with dogs and siblings. They also requested healthy fruit,
more food, and party rental space.
Call to action
Attend an upcoming open house or event to get updates, give input, and network
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