On Monday dozens of people turned out to tour the new Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Muskogee.
"We want to keep his name alive, we want to keep his stories alive and what he meant alive," the center's director Derrick Reed said. "Some people, we forget all about them after they're gone, but Martin Luther King's story and his legacy must be taught to this next generation."
The current MLK Community Center sits right next door, but is falling apart and is beyond repair. It is the only center named after MLK in the state of Oklahoma.
Reed said the center has served the area well during its time.
"It was built back in World War II days as the Army barracks for the black soldiers. After that era it was the Negro library. In 1974 it became the Muskogee Martin Luther King center," Reed said.
The current center is where 75 children daily head for after school programs and during the summer 200 children are fed daily. As they move from a 5,000 square foot building to 19,000 foot building though those numbers should grow.
"We know and anticipate our numbers will double when we move into the new building," Reed said.
The building is expected to open during the spring of 2016 and then the old center will be demolished. In its place, basketball courts, a small garden and picnic tables will be built.
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