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Monday, May 27, 2024

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Upgrades in the Works for MLK Center

Players in Middle Township’s K-3 basketball program play in their Feb. 6 season opener at Martin Luther King Center.

By Press Release

COURT HOUSE – Middle Township’s Martin Luther King Community Center has seen a lot of sneaker traffic lately.  
According to a municipal release, the township’s recreation department held its first basketball day camps and a summer basketball league this year. The township also ran a new travel AAU basketball program, in partnership with Middle Township High School. 
All the extra playtime took a toll on the indoor courts. Meanwhile, the outdoor basketball equipment, used for pickup games, is rusty and overdue for replacement.  
In a big win for township players and programs, the center will receive upgrades beginning this fall. The game lines on indoor basketball and volleyball courts will be repainted, and the outdoor basketball backstops will be replaced. Also, new vinyl flooring will be installed inside the center lobby.  
The improvements will be funded through the township’s capital ordinance that was approved earlier this summer. Contracts to replace the basketball backstops and the vinyl flooring will be approved at the Sept. 8 township committee meeting.  
“The courts have been through tremendous wear and tear from their constant use. These upgrades will be greatly appreciated in the community,” stated Committeeman Jim Norris, who oversees the Middle Township Recreation Department. “They will allow our new and existing basketball leagues to flourish and open the door to Middle Township hosting larger tournaments in our future, as well, once work is completed.” 
Up to this point, all of the basketball programs and tournaments have been held inside the center’s gym, noted Superintendent of Recreation Dustin Sturm. The improvements will literally open the door to potential growth.  
“To be able to go outside with programs and tournaments is huge. It allows us to say ‘yes’ to a lot of the things we couldn’t do prior to these upgrades,” Sturm stated.  
The upgrades contribute to a simple equation of “more basketball courts, more kids, more talent,” stated Sturm, who added that the project will support the recreation department’s big-picture goal of serving as a feeder program for Middle Township High School. 
“It is very important that we become and maintain that feeder program mentality for our high school. Also, the high school teams use our facility as well, so it’s a win-win for all.”

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