In 2004, the Salvation Army of the United States received a $1.5 billion trust from the estate of the late Joan B. Kroc, widow of Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s Corporation. Kerrville is the first Salvation Army Corps in Texas to be approved for a Kroc grant for development of a community center.
Kerrville Corps leaders hired Hastings+Chivetta, in association with Peter Lewis Architect & Associates, to design the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. Design workshops were held with Corps constituents, and a community survey identified needs of new programs in arts, education, recreation, sports and fitness.
The Kroc Center’s major design element is a new chapel which affords a place for worship, celebration and performances. Double the size of the original facility, the Center’s activity components include a gymnasium, a fitness room and locker rooms. Other spaces provided are a childcare center with access to a gated outdoor playground, a teen lounge, a lobby with concessions, a party room, a fellowship hall with an adjacent full-service kitchen, classrooms and offices.
An outdoor aquatics center has a heated lap pool, a therapeutic/exercise pool and a leisure pool with a slide, a climbing wall and play features. New ball fields double as a detention pond to mitigate flooding; this use was granted to the city by the Salvation Army to further community development. The new facility will allow the Salvation Army to expand, to implement new programs and camps, and to evolve with the Texas Hill Country. The Center is open to the community and available to other agencies, groups and families.