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Guadalupe Center transforming empty lot into a recreation space

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Guadalupe Center is turning some of its property into a youth sports area that other members of the community will also be welcome to enjoy.

The new recreation space is on the corner of 27th and Bellview on the west side.

“It hasn`t been anything really, kids can`t play there,” said Mariano Morales, who lives across the street.

An empty lot sits at the intersection of 27th and Bellview --- but not for long. The Guadalupe Center is building a new area for kids to play in -- which will consist of two soccer fields and a basketball court.

“The bigger part is that in the evenings, this will be left open for the community to use, to come in, be able to play soccer or basketball...it will also have a small walking trail around it, and a playground for the kids,” said Ricky Olivares, the Youth Development Director for The Guadalupe Center.

Olivares says they've been working on the plan for a while and says this will be a big improvement for this area of town.

"We`re kind of in a playground greenspace desert, we`re right next to a spray park, and that`s about the most park that we have on this side of the Westside community,” added Olivares, “There`s so much housing and business, that there isn`t any real dedicated space for kids to go out and run.”

The estimated cost for the project is $500,000 -- which is mostly coming from private and corporate donors. The new recreation area will be around the block for most of the neighborhood --something the community has been asking for.

Neighbors like Morales are thankful his great grand kids will now have an area to play in.

“You know your kids are there playing, it gives you a good feeling they`re safe, and not out in the street,” Morales added.

“Parents will now be able to bring their kids, walk around the walking trail while they`re playing on the playground, on the basketball court, or on the futsal court,” said Olivares.

All the necessary paperwork is in, permits have been submitted, after this project is complete, the Guadalupe Center plans to rehabilitate a building and make it into a youth recreation center.

“The kids can come in, get ready for basketball or soccer. It will be open for kids to hang out and have a place for themselves,” Olivares said.

The Guadalupe Center is hoping to break ground on the project in the next week or two. It hopes to have it completed in time for spring.