BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Ten years in the making, the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is finally open on property in east Biloxi that was once part of Yankie Stadium.
Davante Jackson and Zephaniah Alexander, two of the center's newest members, both put their best foot forward as they auditioned to be a part of the Biloxi Kroc Center's Worship team.
"I can't believe it's actually here because you wouldn't imagine this place being like this," Alexander said.
Amy Kruger, the center's musical director, says even though it's just day one, it's been a joy working with the young people of the community. She knows first hand how beneficial both music and involvement with an organization like this one can be. "Music and the salvation army has brought me to places that I would have never gone. I'm from Minnesota and there's just great avenues that the salvation army and music on their own bring in to somebody and then together is even more," Kruger said.
They weren't' the only ones giving the center rave reviews. New members throughout the facility shared similar thoughts about the center being in the Biloxi area.
Stanley Dellenger and his wife walk daily. The couple was overjoyed to have somewhere to walk. The Dellengers were just as excited to have something of this magnitude in their community.
"I think it's great. I tell you, Biloxi really needed a facility like this," Stanley said.
For some of these new members having this outlet goes beyond recreational purposes. "Music is my life. And that's why I just like doing music. I'm hoping to be a music producer when I get older. I think they're helping me develop that," Alexander said.
Kruger says Alexander's aspirations aren't far fetched, especially because now he has an avenue like the Kroc Center to develop his talent. "This is really a place where kids can be nurtured and taught. And then who knows," Kruger said.