The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center reopened its doors yesterday, with an appearance by its matriarch, after a one-year hiatus due to financial problems. The center, housing after-school programs and recreational programs for youth, was reopened thanks to a partnership with the East St. Louis School District, who will be leasing the space for a whopping $1. Superintendent Theresa Saunders was quoted in a Belleville-News Democrat article stating that the five-year contract will ensure that the center remains a place where students can play, but will also emphasize education. The center will also be the new home court for A.M. Jackson Elementary School.
In November 2008, SLM staff writer Jeannette Cooperman interviewed Jackie Joyner-Kersee about the dismal future of the center at the time and the part it plays in her life. Read the compelling feature, "Running the Spectaculon," here.