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ImaginOn, UNCC Uptown & First Ward Park

In 1999 citizens of Charlotte came together and created a unified vision for their city in 2010. Nearly a decade later, the time has come now to realize those dreams and draft new ones. Charlotte Center City Partners, in conjunction with county & city government, all pledged $250,000 a piece to survey Charlotteans and find Charlotte’s collective 2020 vision.  This time around the emphasis will not be on Uptown itself, but on the surrounding neighborhoods and how to connect them to center city Charlotte.

With the creation of ImaginOn, the building of First Ward Park on 7th Street and construction plans for a new UNC Charlotte building, one of the many dreams of the 2010 vision that has been achieved is the successful the creation of an education quad in First Ward.  The community and educational benefits of having places like ImaginOn, UNCC – Uptown Campus and First Ward Park in our area are many.

Imaginon

Imaginon

ImaginOn, which sprung from a partnership from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, opened in 2005 and regularly holds children’s theatre classes, provides a place for teens to lounge in a safe, learning friendly environment, maintains a library for all children and has recently been equipped with a tech center and sound recording booth for kids to live out their dreams and explore their creative side.

UNC Charlotte's Uptown Campus

UNC Charlotte's Uptown Campus rendering

UNC Charlotte's Uptown Campus under construction

UNC Charlotte's Uptown Campus under construction

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Uptown campus, which is still in the construction phases as of October 2009, promises to establish UNCC as a respected and prominent public learning institution in the South. Its design is sleek and sophisticated, designed by Kieran Timberlake of Philadelphia partnered with Charlotte-based Gantt Huberman Architects. Scheduled for completion in 2011, the facility will open at Ninth and Brevard and will not only provide 143,000 square feet of learning space, but also host the school’s MBA programs and Urban Design Studio.

Finally, First Ward Park houses an array of community benefits as well. The recreation center holds regular kick-boxing and Pilates classes, has a full size gymnasium, has a fully equipped gym for adults, hosts cheer & dance classes weekly and has a really neat indoor playroom that is perfect for birthday parties and special events.

These three things are all but tiny parts to a wonderful 2010 vision that is successfully forming to shape Charlotte’s future. To find out more, please visit http://www.centercity2020.info.

All photos by James Willamor. View these and more on Flickr.

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