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Riverside man wants to bring community center back after tragic loss

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Posted at 12:18 PM, May 06, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS — A Riverside community center went up in flames and was reduced to rubble last fall. The owner says he was heartbroken over the Thanksgiving Day loss, but he’s not giving up hope just yet.

Now, young people are meeting Reggie Miller in his barber shop instead of up the street at the Miller Center on North Harding because it burned down, but he’s hopeful that something will rise from the ashes.

“The kids stop by as much as they can. They get their hair cut, but everyone’s question is 'when is the center coming back?” Said Reggie Miller.

Bibles are scattered in the debris, even months after investigators say someone intentionally set the fire that turned the community center into nothing more than a field of bricks.

“I grew up in this community and I just wanted to give the kids a place to go then the fire happened at this is what is left,” said Miller.

The community center housed a church, a gym, classrooms, a computer lab and a library. Miller says when he and his wife purchased the center back in 2018. Their hopes for the center’s reach exceeded the stretch of the square footage.

“Get kids off the streets; that was my goal,” said Miller.

He says that plan isn’t thwarted it’s just delayed.

“It’s a place where they felt like someone cared when the kids came in, they were excited they played and there was study time,” said Miller.

He says fire can’t extinguish his burning desire to give back. The plan is to rebuild and come back better than ever.