The Garland E. Ross Recreation Center was established in 1974 to serve the Thomas Park and Avondale neighborhoods on the Southside of Muncie, Indiana. It was one of three community centers built at the time by the City of Muncie. Quickly becoming the place “to be,” the Ross Center was popular for youth and families to play sports, congregate with friends and neighbors, celebrate life’s milestones, and conduct educational programs.
The core of the neighborhood, the large factory complex north of the Ross Center that was home to a Chevrolet plant and Delco Battery operations, closed. Over time, as economic conditions worsened in the area and the city, the Ross Center struggled to keep its doors open. While never closing, the Ross Center was run for several years by volunteers with limited times of operation.
In 2011, a group of individuals decided to create a non-profit corporation, changing the name to Ross Community Center, Inc. and broadening the mission and vision of the center.
Our neighborhood has changed dramatically to where the Ross Center has become so much more: a place of stability, a place to experience new ideas and possibilities, a haven for our community’s children and adults, and a connection to a time past.
Today, Ross Community Center, Inc. is at a pivotal moment. It has survived “start-up” challenges and has transitioned from a city-operated recreational facility to an independent non-profit organization through the dedication and persistence of a handful of volunteers. They have kept the doors open and the dream alive to establish a safe, welcoming, neutral haven in one of the state’s most hard-pressed neighborhoods.
We continue to build relationships and establish partnerships with our community agencies, organizations, individuals, and groups to find ways to effectively and efficiently provide high-quality programs and events for little to no cost.