Kroc Center set to roll Feb. 23 | Health
The Zippin Pippin may be gone, but the fairgrounds’ newest attraction is about to get Memphis families moving in a new way.
The Kroc Center will open Feb. 23, on East Parkway just a few steps from Cooper-Young. The $31 million, 104,000-square-foot recreation, arts and worship facility is operated by the Salvation Army, a group that hopes to increase its visibility and ministry in the Memphis area.
“We want to introduce the Salvation Army to the community in new ways,” said Stephen Hackett, IT and multimedia director for the Kroc Center, as he led a group of about 40 people on a tour Nov. 14 at the still incomplete site.
The sprawling Kroc Center campus just south of Fairview Middle is to a traditional recreation center what Lance Armstrong is to cycling competitors: on steroids. Members will be able to access a fitness center and group exercise area with springed wood floors, or continue to the basketball and volleyball courts, which are separated by a glass wall from the indoor artificial turf soccer and flag football field.
In the aquatic center, a towering water slide— the only one in Midtown — that winds both inside and outside the building will chute swimmers into a pool near the “lazy river” float stream, lap pools and whirlpool. Kroc Center representatives, touting the building’s “green” features, proudly said the new pools were made with cement recycled from the old Fairgrounds pool.
A splash park and obstacle course, playground, fire pit and two NCAA-regulation soccer fields sit just outside the aquatics center. A cafe is located inside, near a “teaching kitchen” and Grand Hall banquet and event center.