SOUTH BEND – How did the roughly 150 people working at the Kroc Center know they would be ready for opening day? Hundreds of local students took a special field trip to help give workers a final run-through.
To say there’s a lot to do at the center is an understatement.
About 400 students from Christ the King School visited the Kroc Center and participated in activities such as zumba, video games, ping pong, swimming in the pool and making crafts Friday morning to help give staff at the center a final run through before Sunday’s grand opening.
“We’ve done a lot of soft opening events,” said Kroc Center Marketing Manager Meg Sauer. “The fire department has been through, the police department and we’ve learned something each time – how to get a little bit better at what we’re doing.”
Students from Christ the King helped teach a few more lessons.
“We weren’t thinking about coats [and what people would do with them] when they come in,” Sauer said. “We found a room for them and we put them in there but we’ll have a better place for them next time.”
After years of planning and months of watching it all come together, Kroc Center employees are getting their first glimpse at how center operations will unfold on a daily basis.
“I videotaped them,” said Kroc Center Audio Visual and Lighting Specialist Nick Hardrict. “Just to see the excitement on their face is awesome. We know we have a great place, a great facility but just to see the kids here is really refreshing.”
From the front desk to the lower level and everything in between, the Kroc Center made a great first impression on its first large group of patrons.
“I feel lucky,” said Christ the King fifth-grader Reilly Sexton.
“It’s really fun and my teacher said we could go here next year for a field trip!” said third-grader Sidney Pittman.
When asked if she would be back, field trip chaperone and Christ the King parent Mary Jo Malstaff said, “Yes, I will! It’s great here – a really nice facility.”