Friday, January 6, 2012

Ready to Kroc!

You've heard it before, "You really have to see it to believe it." Sure, it's cliche, but I tell you what... that saying perfectly describes how I felt walking through the brand new Kroc Center at 900 W. Western Avenue in South Bend. 

"In 2009 this was just a one-dimensional thing on paper, " said Salvation Army Major Bob Webster.  "Now look at this."  Webster's eyes lit up as he entered each new space.  He was like a kid who had worked hard on a project and was excited to finally show it off to the world.  

I bet you'll be impressed right when you walk in the front doors.  The first thing you'll notice is a unique modern glass chandelier.  It sits in the center of a spiral staircase that leads down to about a dozen thoughtfully designed rooms.  Teens could play air hockey in the activities room one day.  Then the next you might find them in the HD studio recording something in front of a green screen that would make a professional meteorolgoist blush. 

If you stay upstairs and walk straight ahead you'll eventually make your way to a state-of-the-art gym with machines.  Some are still covered in plastic-wrap. 

You can just imagine what this place will look, feel and sound like once the public gets inside on January 29th.  Folks will be on the treadmill with their iPhones hooked into the computer, perhaps passing their workout time by streaming a movie or reading a book. 

Chefs would be jealous of the kitchen downstairs.  They're still installing equipment, but once the Kroc Center opens the kitchen will host classes.  One will be taught by a master chef who will show students how to cook healthy meals using items available at the Salvation Army's food pantry.

Instructors are already flexing their teaching muscles, preparing to take on classes of folks from the community looking to get leaner.  The center has tried to hire top professionals in all fields.  The resumes of the staff from the trainers to the marketing and communications specialists would appeal to even the best for-profit companies looking to make an impact. 

I've only scratched the surface on this place.  For more info visit the center's website:

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