Phoenix proposes closing 13 community centers

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- More than a dozen community centers around Phoenix could be on the chopping block. A new budget proposal suggests getting rid of 13 fully staffed community centers.

"I like to play basketball here," says little Clara McLaughlin. Her brother Austin likes it too. "I like to play basketball here.  And I like to play the Foosball, the air hockey," said Austin McLaughlin.

Their father, Kris McLaughlin, is a basketball coach at Paradise Valley Community Center. He says his family has been coming here for two and a half years.

But now a sign going up tells patrons of upcoming budget meetings concerning their community center.  For years, the center has been a  place for meetings, sports leagues, workouts, and even Girl Scout and Cub Scout gatherings.

"Everyone in here really cares about the kids and what they do," said McLaughlin.

A paper is being handed out at the center from the city of Phoenix, notifying neighbors  that the city is proposing closing all 13 full-service community centers.  Many of the centers have gyms, fitness centers, and rooms for rent for meetings.

But for Kris McLaughlin and his family, this is a place they like to spend time with each other  and their neighbors.

"I don't know where all these kids would go. It's really sad. I mean the kids, the adults, the seniors. I don't know. It's not good, " said McLaughlin.

The public is invited to attend community budget hearings. The hearing concerning the Paradise Valley Community Center will be held Wednesday.

Community Budget Hearing - Council District 2 & 3, Paradise Valley Community Center, Multi-Purpose Room
When: Wed, April 2, 6:30pm – 6:30pm
Where: 17402 N 40th St, Phoenix, AZ, United States (map)

You can view details of the proposed budget online.