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‘If we can continue this, other people will follow:’ Volunteers start renovations on Lexington community center

May 17, 2022

A Lexington community center is getting some major work done. Volunteers started renovations on the Dunbar Community Center Saturday.

Adam Stiles with Anderson Communities, a real estate development company in Central Kentucky, said his coworkers wanted to give back through volunteer work.

“As everyone has noticed, there’s been kind of a spike in violence in Lexington, and we got with many members of city council and the city as well to find out what we could do to give back to the community to help curb some of that,” Stiles said.

Lexington has seen 33 homicides to date, just one shy of last year’s record set at 34.

The group said it was recommended they focus on creating a safe place for young people in Lexington.

“They were talking about making sure that we give the children of Lexington and anybody in the area something that they could go to at night and feel very welcomed at,” Anderson Communities team member Mary Anne Harrison said.

She said they toured Dunbar Community Center and decided to help revamp the upstairs space.

“The first room is the e-sports room… the second room is going to be like a group room…. the third room…. they were wanting to make it a recording studio, so children can come in and they can sing their music and have a great time,” Harrison said.

The recording studio is being built and designed in collaboration with One Lexington director and hip-hop artist Devine Carama.

City leaders said the goal is to give kids direction, and a place to retreat to when they’re not at school.

“You want to be a neighbor, you want to be a community, and you build a community one person at a time,” Harrison said.

The volunteer group said this was the first of many work sessions at the center.