Renovation of Soar Park Community Center planned

Soar Park Community Center will include Internet cafe, computer room

MIAMI - Soar Park Community Center in northwest Miami-Dade is empty and outdated, but in just a couple of weeks, that is all about to change.

"I like the garden because it will bring life over here," said one young girl who lives near Soar Park.

Arts and crafts and gardening are just a few of the activities kids will have access to at the new Soar Park.

"Anything that helps and drives reading and mathematics," said Wiliem Jose of Little Haiti Optimist Club. "Currently, right now, we have football. There's going to be t-ball and soccer. There's going to be an opportunity to bring the whole community together."

Little Haiti Optimist Club, non-profit organization, prepared Tuesday to bring new life to this community center, transforming the empty building into a safe hub for learning. It will be equipped with an Internet cafe and a computer room.

"We have a lot of young kids in the community and they need something to do to stay out of the streets and out of the roads," said Jonathan Lewis, a single father who has lived in the neighborhood for 40 years. "This was a great thing for them and all of a sudden it was taken away from them."

Tuesday was the final planning meeting between Odebrecht and the contractors that are donating dozens of computers, tables and chairs, paint for the walls, and supplies. 

"The Internet cafe and recreation center itself will provide an outside reach to the rest of the world," said Tommy Valentine, Odebrecht's superintendent.

After three weeks time, it should be ready to open.

"I think it's great because not a lot of kids have computers. I think it's great they can come here and use computers for the first time," said Andres Cruz, a boy who is excited for the new community center.

"If there's not a glimmer of hope, we will try to be that one light of hope," Jose added.

Contractors plan to start the work on Soar Park next Monday, but it could be delayed if Tropical Storm Chantal impacts South Florida.

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