CLEVELAND -- Years of planning and hard work turn into a lifetime of play for Cleveland residents. The newly renovated Michael J. Zone Center was rededicated Saturday.
The 20-acre park on Lorain Avenue has been redesigned and transformed. Councilman Matt Zone could hardly contain his excitement over the new amenities at the center that bears his father's name.
"So, now today, we have a water park, a skate park, tennis courts, handball courts, two dog parks, two multi-purpose fields, a little league baseball diamond, and adult diamond, basketball courts. It's just a state of the art facility," Councilman Zone said.
The $3 million project is said to be a "green build" specifically designed to maintain the integrity of the environment. Little League Coach David Hovis was excited about the improvements.
"This has been one of the underused green spaces in Cleveland. Now it is all re-done and beautiful and now we have leagues ready to go," he said.
A new playground replaces an old one that was on the site, and the Zone Center has two new tennis courts—the first on the city's near West side. Tennis player John Harvis-Bey believes that gives people on the East and West side an opportunity to connect.
"And, I can see some inner city tennis rivalries developing. Tennis is a very social game," he said.
Councilman Zone agreed. He believes what is most appealing about the multi-million dollar investment in the neighborhood is the sense of community the center creates.
"It brings people together from different generations, from different ethnic backgrounds, different economic backgrounds -- to recreate together, to share together. And, it makes us a stronger community," he added.