The Ken-Rock Community Center began as a Junior League project over 80 years ago. With the help of experienced staff and dedicated volunteers. Ken-Rock has grown into an established center. Ken-Rock’s mission of “People Enjoying Positive Opportunities in Recreation, Education & Social Services has been realized by quality recreational social service and educational programs provided to citizens of all ages.
1930 – Junior League of Rockford’s first service project was construction of 4-room building at 2905 Bildahl Street
1936 – First addition to building completed.
1940 – Name changed from Junior League House to Ken-Rock Community Center.
1948 – Center becomes full fledged member of the Community Chest.
1950 – Center becomes incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.
1951 – Second addition to building completed.
1953 – Junior League of Rockford deeds building and grounds to Ken-Rock Community Center Board of Directors.
1954 – Ken-Rock begins operation of Sabrooke Community Center in Nokomo Heights House Project (Orton Keyes).
1963 – Third addition to building completed
1970 – Mortgage Burning Ceremony. Center is now debt free.
1971 – Fourth addition to building completed
1975 – Approval given by National Lock co. for use of 40 acres for 19 ball diamonds.
1976 – Ken-Rock begins operation of Blackhawk Community Center in Blackhawk Housing Project.
1977 – Submitted application to Rockford Community Development Department for funds to acquire and renovate Morris Kennedy School
1979 – City of Rockford deeds former Morris Kennedy School to Ken-Rock Community Center
1980 – Ken-Rock Community Center programs and services move to new location at 3218 – 11th Street.
1985 – Elco Industries provides 16 acre field to be used as 12 softball diamonds for Ken-Rock.
1986 – Ken-Rock Elderly Apartments, Inc. a 31-unit elderly apartment complex opens.
1988 – Rockford Park District & the Rockford Public School dedicates Don Schmid. New name The Don Schmid Youth Sports Center
1995 – Capital Improvement Grant provided by the Rockford Park District provides funds for the renovation of The Don Schmid Youth Sports Center into a first class softball recreational facility
2001 – The Ken-Rock Center begins a partnership with the Little Peoples Place Day Care that will host over 90 children daily. Also, a $170,000 capitol improvement project began to renovate the facility.
2001- A new partnership was formed with the Rock River Valley Food Pantry. Ken-Rock will be an emergency service provider of food on Saturdays.
2008 – Ken-Rock Community Center sold the building to the Our Lady of Sacred Heart Academy and downsized to become financially solvent for the future.
2010 – Finalist for the Rockford Register Star’s Excelsior Award
2013 – Ken-Rock Center launched the opening of the Ken-Rock Learning Center.
2014 – Winner of the 2014 Rockford Register’s Star Excelsior Award
2018- Opened the renovated community room and introduced the public to Banquet Hall a reception room for weddings, showers, birthday parties, anniversary, reunions and after funeral gatherings.
2019- Formed a new partnership with the Rockford Park District, playing youth softball program at the Beautiful Sportscore 1 Complex, featuring games under the lights.
2020- Ken-Rock moves into a new facility in May of 2020 625 Adams Street. The building features, gym, bingo hall, banquet facility, day care center, day room, computer lab, 2-Lane Bowling Alley.