Groundbreaking Ceremony Scheduled for Clarence R. Kelly Community Center and Park


The City of Gainesville Wild Spaces & Public Places program and Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department are hosting a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Clarence R. Kelly Community Center and Park in East Gainesville.

When: 10 a.m. Saturday, April 17

Where: 1701 NE Eighth Avenue


  • Lauren Poe, Gainesville Mayor
  • Gigi Simmons, Gainesville City Commissioner
  • Betsy Waite, Wild Spaces & Public Place director
  • Rev. Earnestine Butler, neighborhood representative
  • Carla Lewis, neighborhood representative

Renovations to the Clarence R. Kelly Community Center and Park are expected to be completed in spring 2022. A new 3,800 square-foot space with two large multipurpose rooms, activity room, computer lab, game room, kitchen, offices, reception area and storage will replace the existing building.

Outdoor improvements include a new playground, lighted basketball court, an event lawn, outdoor adult fitness equipment, walking trail, community garden and landscaping.

Funded by the Wild Spaces & Public Places half-cent sales tax, renovations to the Clarence R. Kelly Community Center and Park is expected to cost $2,292,276. During the past several years, neighbors have participated in the planning and design of the project through community workshops, focus groups and surveys. The center is named after the late Clarence R. Kelly, community leader and former director of the center.