By Cheletia Johnson, Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor
“We pledge a better school to be, O’ Lincoln how we love you.”
The closing line from the former Lincoln High’s school song still rings true more than 70 years later. The Lincoln Recreation Center’s $3.4 million expansion and renovation extends the Texas historical site’s long tradition of education and fellowship for future generations.
We invite you to join us as we celebrate, cherish and explore the renewed Lincoln Recreation Center at a grand opening ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m.-noon at 1000 Eleanor St. The event also features the College Station Police Department’s Back to School Rally.
Ribbon-cutting will be at 10 a.m., followed by guided facility tours every half hour, starting at 10:30. CSPD will provide free school supplies, and you can interact with police officers and explore emergency vehicles. Youngsters can also enjoy bounce houses, the splash pad, and games.
We’ll serve light refreshments with entertainment by the Lincoln Center’s Minds of Champions Chorus. Overflow parking is available at the Wayne Smith Ballfield parking lot at 107 Holleman Drive.
The development of the new center supports our community’s growing needs and enhances after-school programs, young adult and senior programs, and educational classes while providing rental space. It also serves as a social hub that encourages community members to gather, create, learn, and enjoy.
Voters approved expansion and renovation in 2008. A new 15,355 square-foot building includes a second gymnasium with wood flooring, three additional activity classrooms and a fitness room loaded with new equipment. The facility is accented with purple in reverence to Lincoln High’s school colors and proudly displays the old Panthers mascot on the gym floor.
The new building features five multipurpose rooms that can fill an array of recreational, social, meeting and rental needs. It also has an open area for physical activities and a fully furnished workout area with state-of-the-art equipment.
Renovations to the original building include an expanded community room, an upgraded computer lab, floor repairs, and better gymnasium lighting.
Through the vision of Lincoln Recreation Center trailblazers Lillian Jean Clark Robinson, Lance Jackson, and Kim Daily, the center will improve the quality of life for children, youth, seniors, and families through culturally responsive educational and social service activities.
“Many of the participants at the Lincoln Recreation Center are descendants of students from Lincoln High,” Lincoln High alumnus Henry Lewis said. “Like their forefathers, they are contributing what they’ve learned from the center to the College Station community.”
The transformation embodies the true spirit of the old Lincoln High school motto:
“Forward forever, backward never.”
For more information, go to cstx.gov/LincolnCenter or call 979-764-3779.
About the Blogger
Lincoln Center Supervisor Cheletia Johnson has worked for the City of College Station for more than 25 years. A College Station native, she grew up near the LRC. Cheletia earned a bachelor’s degree in community health from Texas A&M and a master’s in counseling from Prairie View A&M.
If you found value in this blog post, please share it with your social network and friends!
By Kelly Kelbly, Recreation Supervisor
Throughout February, you’ve heard a lot about the Lincoln Recreation Center’s rich past. We’ll always respect the historical significance of the facility, but as African-American History Month comes to a close, it’s appropriate to take a closer look at what lies ahead.
After all, the spirit of the old Lincoln School’s motto — “Forever Forward, Never Backward” – speaks to the future, not the past.
In the 2008 bond election, College Station residents approved plans to expand the overcrowded recreation center. In the years since, city staff has worked with architects, design firms, and citizens to develop plans to update the facility to meet our community’s growing needs and expectations.
Construction is expected to start in a few months with the grand opening scheduled for next year.
What does this mean for you? (more…)
By Lance Jackson, Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor
In Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, he said “the world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to unfinished work…”
Lincoln’s eloquent words were about the battlefield, but they could apply to the legacy of the College Station school that once bore his name. It’s fitting to reflect on that heritage as we observe African-American History Month.
From 1941-65, the Lincoln School educated children from elementary grades through high school. The development and history of the Lincoln Recreation Center mirror the achievements of the many students who walked those hallways.
By Steve Beachy, Former Parks & Recreation Director (1978-2007)
In 1978, the Lincoln Center and the surrounding neighborhood were in a severe state of neglect.
The old school buildings showed the years of little or no maintenance. Holleman Drive was a narrow roadway with broken pavement and no curbs or gutters. Eleanor Street and adjacent streets were unpaved and had a tendency to become impassable during heavy rains. Sidewalks, street lights, and paved parking were nonexistent.
The area also had numerous substandard homes, vacant houses and properties overgrown with weeds and brush. The poorly maintained softball field and two youth baseball fields fell far short of meeting the needs of our small but growing college-oriented community.
A lack of funding for potential improvements made the situation grim.
A steady renaissance (more…)
By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator
People of all ages filter through the Lincoln Recreation Center for various activities and programs, but many don’t realize the building’s historical significance. With February being African American History Month, it’s a perfect time to take a look back at the proud history of Lincoln High School.
More than 2,000 people arrived in Brazos County as slaves. Formal education didn’t exist until the Public Schools Act of 1871. By 1923, 127 African-American students were enrolled in the A&M Consolidated School District. The district accommodated only elementary school students until it began busing pupils to Kemp High School in Bryan.
By Lance Jackson, Lincoln Recreation Center Supervisor
The city dedicated the old Lincoln High School as a neighborhood recreation center on June 6, 1980. Since then, the facility has been the location for many events and celebrations, as well as a safe and fun gathering place for our community’s youth. The center’s legacy of learning, community pride and freedom grows stronger each year.
President Abraham Lincoln, the center’s namesake, once said freedom is our last best hope. Hope may be defined to include an expectation of optimism and fun.