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” 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. Upgrades that were accomplished were new plumbing and bathroom fixtures, brand new gymnasium floor, central air condition in the banquet facility, new roof and the building was completely rewired.Another partnership was formed with the Rock River Valley Food Pantry. As Ken-Rock will be an emergency service provider of food on Saturdays. The only weekend provider in the city of Rockford.
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. Ken-Rock resides in the building in the south wing of the first floor.
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 Jovannah 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 and will be playing our youth softball program at the Beautiful Sportscore 1 Complex, featuring games under the lights.