ABOUT THE Facility
Throughout the many physical changes Carver Recreation Center has seen over its 62 plus years, it is the numerous programs that have developed inside its walls of which the City of Johnson City is most proud. Its many youth offerings include a robust sports program as well as an afterschool program that provides tutoring, snacks, meals and enrichment programs for about 75 students. Carver Recreation Center is also home to several intergenerational and/or multicultural events each year and continues to focus its efforts on bringing the community together for fun, fellowship and service.
The story of Carver began in 1940 when Louis H. Gump donated the land for the creation of the George Washington Carver Park. The park included the Surjoi Pool, an above ground, wood-framed pool which for many years had been privately operated for “whites only.” In 1952 a lighted softball field was added to the park.
The original Carver Recreation Center, which opened in 1958, was a two-story, 16,000-square-foot building built alongside the pool that stood where the current Carver Community Gardens are planted. The building became a true community center, welcoming people of all ages for a variety of activities.
The early years saw the formation of a senior citizens club and building improvements that included a refinishing of the gymnasium floor and a boxing room. In 1990, faced with completely rebuilding the pool the City opted to embark on an expansion of the property and center renovation instead. By the end of the 90s Carver Park had increased approximately 40 percent in size to its current 6 acre footprint. Improvements to the park included installation of a new playground, new outdoor basketball courts, a sand volleyball court, and walking trails. The center itself received both structural and cosmetic repairs.
Following a significant and damaging flood event in 2003 construction began on the current one-level, 16,000-square-foot Carver Recreation Center, which was dedicated in 2005. A new playground was installed in 2018, and a splashpad will be in operation this summer.
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|Carver Park Pavilion
There are two covered pavilions adjacent to green space, playground equipment, basketball courts and 1.4 miles of walking trail. Seating capacity: 70.