|HOUSTON – Alief will soon be home to a first-of-its-kind mixed-use center in Houston.
Today, Mayor Sylvester Turner was joined by District F Councilmember Tiffany Thomas and City of Houston department directors for the Alief Neighborhood Center and Park groundbreaking.
The site off Bellaire Blvd. and Kirkwood in southwest Houston will be home to a new $54-million mixed-used center that will accommodate three City of Houston Facilities under one roof.
The Alief Neighborhood Center is the first City of Houston facility designed specifically to provide the delivery of popular public services through the Library, Parks & Recreation, and Health departments’ combined resources.
“This new facility will provide community members and visitors with the opportunity to gather and socialize, mingle and play,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “Last year, I added the Alief-Westwood area in the second phase of my Complete Communities Initiative. We are excited to be able to provide new programming and services that will meet the community’s needs and demands.”
“Today is not just about the residents of Alief and their vision finally coming to fruition, but this is about us imagining what our city could look like when we invest funding. when we design buildings with resiliency, with community input in mind, and we leverage our city buildings as assets for all,” said District F Councilmember Tiffany Thomas. “This is just one example of how we can have a more complete community. We believe revitalization is happening in our community, and this model will demonstrate that for the city.”
The new 69,900 square foot facility and renovated park will enhance the departments’ programming opportunities both inside the building and in the park. Parks programming includes HPARD’s After-School and Summer Enrichment Programs for Youth, Summer and After-school Meals Programs, sports and recreation leagues for youth and adults, fitness classes and weight room access, leisure and educational activities for seniors, swimming and learn to swim programs. There will also be soccer fields and a skate park on-site.
“The new Alief Neighborhood Center will be a game-changer for the Alief community,” said Steve Wright, Houston Parks and Recreation Department director. “It’s destined to become a neighborhood landmark while providing a multitude of much-needed services in a single location. It’s also an excellent example of City departments working together toward a single goal. I expect it to become a model for the nation on how different City departments can collaborate effectively to answer the needs of a community.”
The public library will provide access to books as well as digital resources and state of the art technology.
“This project is all about interdepartmental collaboration and the best use of City resources,” said Dr. Rhea Lawson, Houston Public Library director. “The Houston Health Department, Parks and Recreation Department and the Houston Public Library have a longstanding history of working together to best meet the needs of the communities we collectively serve and this latest endeavor is an example of our continued concerted effort to provide “one stop” services to Houstonians in their communities.”
The new Alief Neighborhood Center will mark a significant expansion of the Houston Health Department’s Diabetes and Wellness Network, which provides free diabetes self-management education and many other health-related services to Houstonians in order to reduce and prevent chronic disease.
The center will also house a WIC clinic and offer services through the Harris County Area Agency on Aging, which coordinates various comprehensive services for adults 60 years or older and their caregivers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic shines a spotlight on the importance of accessible and equitable programs and services that empower all Houstonians to live healthy lives,” said Stephen L. Williams, Houston Health Department director. “This center brings vital public health programs to the Alief community that will serve every age group, from babies through our WIC program, to adults with our chronic disease program, all the way to older adults through our aging program.”
The Alief Neighborhood Center and Park is scheduled to open Spring 2022.