New Salvation Army Center set to open

New Salvation Army Center set to open

(WMC-TV) – After years of planning and lengthy construction delay, The Salvation Army Kroc Center in Memphis is preparing to open its doors.

As crews put on the finishing touches, we got a first look inside the much anticipated community center.

Salvation Army Officials say the Kroc Center is something you must see to believe.

"There really is so much going on its hard to describe in a pamphlet or a brochure or even in a conversation," stated Lt. Jonathan Howell with the Salvation Army.

On a tour Saturday, visitors got the first look at the inside of the 100,000 square foot facility.

"I was amazed at the design of the facility and the expanse of it," teacher Dan DeShaun said.

The indoor outdoor community complex on Central Avenue combines the arts, recreation and worship on what was once the Memphis Fairgrounds.

"I mean the whole time I'm walking through I'm thinking, my students need to be," said art teacher Duran Johnson.

Memphians came up with the required $25 million to receive a $61 million plus gift from the estate of McDonald's founder Ray and Joan Kroc.

Construction was well under way until 2010 when an engineering problem delayed the project for almost a year.

"And it's just a few months to our grand opening weekend of January 26th and we're so excited we can't wait for members to come in and sign up," said Howell.

Once the $30 million facility officially opens in January, the Salvation Army will still have a $55 million endowment to run it.

The Salvation Army says there will never be a need to raise money for the facility.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.