Big improvements under way for Michael J. Zone Rec Center

West side neighborhood eagerly awaits opening

CLEVELAND - A $3.5 million project is well under way on Cleveland's west side. The Michael J. Zone Recreation Center is getting a major face lift. Residents can't wait until it's official opening in July 2012.

Much of the work is going on outside. New basketball courts, tennis, even a dog park are being constructed. Bicyclists will soon be able to ride directly for the rec center to the Cuyahoga County Metroparks bike trail.

"In urban areas you need green space. We're investing in neighborhoods. It's all about quality of life," said Michael Cox, Cleveland's Director of Public Works.

The project will also integrate environmental stewardship into a state-of-the-art upgrade of the outdoor facilities at the center. The $3 million project will have a number of upgrades, including onsite treatment of storm water, integration of solar power generation for outdoor concession stand and restrooms, a splash park, soccer field, baseball diamond and multipurpose trail.

The environmental features will serve as an educational tool for area schools and communities to learn about sustainability and the environment.

The grand opening in July will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the recreation facility.

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