MIDDLE RIVER, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, the Department of Recreation and Parks, and other elected officials on Thursday broke ground on a new Recreation Activity Center (RAC) in Middle River. The new facility, supported by approximately $10 million in state and County funds, will open alongside Glenmar Elementary School and focus on recreational, social and wellness opportunities for residents of all ages. Located in close proximity to Martin State Airport’s Glenn L. Martin Maryland Aviation Museum, the new Middle River RAC will feature flight-and-aeronautics-themed programming in addition to traditional recreational activities.
“We are fully committed to expanding recreational opportunities in every community across our great county. Adding this high-quality, aeronautical-themed Recreation Activity Center in Middle River is another step in our efforts to engage residents, highlight the area’s rich history and promote civic pride,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “The Middle River RAC is poised to be a community hub and I am grateful to our state and County Council partners for their advocacy and support in helping to make this project a reality.”
Expected to be completed in April of 2024, the approximately 15,000-square-foot Middle River RAC will offer a full-sized gymnasium, multipurpose room, four multi-use activity rooms and feature an inclusive timeline highlighting and celebrating the history of aeronautics and technological advances associated with this field. The approximately $10.2 million project is funded by a $500,000 state aid grant, $1.725 million from Project Open Space and $8 million from Baltimore County.
“One of our goals at Recreation and Parks is to expose youth and adults to as many opportunities as possible so that they can determine their interests, said Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks Director Roslyn Johnson. “RAC programs featuring creative and fun lessons will assist us in helping to grow future engineers, astronauts, pilots and the like, right here in Middle River.”
“I was happy to play a part in securing state funding for the Middle River RAC and to work with the Baltimore County Administration to see it become a reality because I know it will make a real difference in the lives of families in Baltimore County,” said Maryland State Delegate Carl Jackson. “I cannot wait to be back for the grand opening!”
“I am proud to have advocated for not just this center, but recreational opportunities across the County,” said Baltimore County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. “This has been a long time coming and I’m looking forward to this new community hub in the heart of Middle River, where families will make memories for years to come.”
The groundbreaking for the new Middle River center comes soon after officials announced the reimagining of Baltimore County’s nine former Police Athletic League (PAL) centers as Recreation Activity Centers (RAC), which now offer expanded programming options.
Under the RAC model, Baltimore County’s centers — in addition to athletic and after-school programming — provide expansive recreational, art, health, and wellness offerings, including for residents of all ages and younger children who were traditionally are limited from PAL programming. Adults are required to accompany children under the age of six.
“I would like to thank the Olszewski administration, my colleague Councilwoman Bevins, and our partners for advancing this critical center,” said Baltimore County Councilman David Marks. “Middle River needs community anchors like this to support families and recreation for all.”
The new Middle River RAC will join the County’s existing sites at Cockeysville, Dundalk, Hillendale, Lansdowne, Mars Estates, Scotts Branch, Shady Spring, Winfield, and Woodmoor and a Rosedale RAC that is currently under construction.
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