Every aspect of the 104,000-sq.-ft. recreation, education, worship and cultural arts facility is designed to create an environment that fosters collaboration, mentorship and personal growth. In fact, the Kroc Center is offering a comprehensive range of continuing education, visual and performing arts, health and wellness programs, family services and indoor/outdoor recreation for youth, adults, families and senior citizens. There’s never been anything like the Kroc Center in Memphis. And there’s never been a better time to come together.

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The Salvation Army preaches good stewardship, and the Kroc Center was designed with the Earth in mind.

For example, the Kroc Center is home to large water retention tanks. These tanks collect rain water from the roof to use in watering the soccer fields. The glass and HVAC were designed hand-in-hand to use natural daylight efficiently, and every light bulb in the facility is wired to automatically turn itself off when not in use.

The Mid-South Fairgrounds was home to two swimming pools in the past. After excavation for construction, the concrete was recycled for use in the Kroc Center.

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The Mid-South Fairgrounds, 168 acres in Midtown, is located between East Parkway, Hollywood Ave., Central Ave. and Southern Ave. Since 1897 — when the city purchased the land for the Montgomery Park horse track — the area has been used for various public events and activities. It was a fairground from 1912, when the Tri-State Fair (now Mid-South Fair) began, until 2008, when the fair moved to Desoto County.

Currently, the Fairgrounds are used by the Liberty Bowl Stadium, the Children’s Museum of Memphis, Fairview Middle School and The Salvation Army.

In early 2005 Memphis Mayor W.W. Herenton and Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton appointed the Mid-South Fairgrounds Redevelopment subcommittee to study the future use of the Fairgrounds site. The Committee hired a consultant team to study and recommend potential land uses, plus produce a fiscal and economic impact analysis.

One of the decisions made by the committee was to close Libertyland permanently. Libertyland opened as an amusement park on the Mid-South Fairgrounds in 1976, and was home to the Zippin Pipppin and the Grand Carousel, among several rides. The park operated up until late October of 2005 when the vote was passed to close the park. Today, all of the rides and attractions have been moved, sold and/or destroyed and the land has been cleared.

In 2007, The Salvation Army of Memphis purchased the land on the Mid-South Fairgrounds, where the Kroc Center stands, for $1.6 million.

In 2010, Tiger Lane was built, creating a green space stretching from the Liberty Bowl to East Parkway.