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Charlotte, NC— Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation holds the grand opening on Saturday, May 8 at 10am for the Revolution Park Sports Academy. The public is invited to the ceremony and to tour the facility at 1225 Remount Road, beside Revolution Park Golf Course. The academy will open with a special bell ringing, as at a boxing or wrestling match!

The grand opening will feature boxers sparring, youth working-out in the weight room, golf and Zumba demonstrations, wrestling exhibits, plus interactive experiences for the public: Try on boxing gloves and hit the heavy bags, tumble around on wrestling mats, participate in a Zumba class, try out weight equipment, and check-out the wireless computer lab.

The $10 million, 30,000 sq ft Revolution Park Sports Academy is a place to teach life skills to youth and adults, especially through sports. It houses many programs offered by or in partnership with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department: Charlotte Boxing Academy, Police Activities League (PAL), karate and wrestling, plus Charlotte Flights Track and Field Club. The academy will host summer enrichment camps, PAL after-school enrichment programs, and senior programs.

The new academy includes athletic training space, fitness equipment for youth and adults, multi-use class rooms for after school programs, a computer lab, office space, plus a concession area and grill that will open in the fall of 2010. Some sports at the academy will use Revolution Park athletic fields including the artificial turf field, built in 2007 in partnership with the Carolina Panthers. It is designed for football, soccer and lacrosse.

The new club house for Revolution Park Golf Course will be in the academy building. The First Tee of Charlotte Learning Academy shares the site, in the renovated old club house. The First Tee facility, built in partnership with Park and Recreation, teaches golf to young people. The academy complex will soon adjoin a new section of Irwin Creek Greenway, which will run through the golf course. The greenway is mostly complete and will open this fall when the reconfiguration/renovation of the golf course is finished and the course and golf clubhouse will re-open for public use.

The Revolution Park Sports Academy building is Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation’s first L.E.E.D. certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) facility. That means it meets tough standards as a “green” building with more local building materials, recycled materials, and high efficiency mechanical systems.

The 10am ceremony will feature brief remarks by Jennifer Roberts, Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Commission, Chairman Brad Pearce and Beverly Lawston of the Park and Recreation Commission, Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges, Revolution Park Neighborhood Association President John Howard, plus Calvance Brock and Kendra Macon of the Charlotte Boxing Academy.

Hours of operation for the academy are: Mon-Thurs: 9am-9pm, Fri: 9am-6pm, Sat: 9am-5pm.