Tolson Center for Community Excellence

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Past, Present, and Future

The Tolson Center for Community Excellence builds off the foundation established by Herbert and Ruth Tolson and carried forward by the City of Elkhart for decades. A true community partnership—built on the feedback from residents—is creating a revitalized Tolson Center rooted in South Central Elkhart, reaching across generations and cultures to serve all of the Elkhart community and beyond.


Holistic growth through intergenerational interaction


Accessibility and service for all bodies and minds


Good stewardship of human, financial and ecological assets


Integrity and safekeeping across all operations


Responsible engagement through leadership and participation


Respect for legacy in the center’s history and contributions

A New Era

A soccer ball in the foreground and numerous people in the background on a field at dusk.


The Tolson Center for Community Excellence empowers lives through inclusive learning, recreation and cultural exchange, opening doors to bright futures.


The Tolson Center for Community Excellence will be a centerpiece for an enlivened South Central Elkhart, a premier destination for neighbors near and far, and a pathway to equity and opportunity for all.

What about programming between now and the new facility opening?

The Tolson Center is being operated by the City of Elkhart Parks and Recreation Department through early 2022. In 2022, Tolson will close for construction for about a year and a half. At that time the Parks and Recreation Department plans to continue programming in nearby facilities, through community partnerships to continue to positively impact the local community.


Board Information

The Tolson Board has been hard at work for over a year. We have a very capable board that brings a lot of perspectives. Committees include: Governance, Executive, Finance & Audit, Building & Park Design, Program Priorities, External Communications, Senior Leadership Search Taskforce, and a Fundraising Committee.

Group of community members meeting to discuss with one another.

Answers to Your Questions

When does Tolson break ground?

Work is ongoing on a new leadership and financing structure. Construction is scheduled to begin mid-2022. Our collective patience will be rewarded as a remarkable new chapter for Tolson will be unveiled in 2023.

What services will Tolson have in 2023?

We are in conversation with various partner organizations who will help us deliver excellent programming for all ages. Specific program decisions will be made by Tolson staff closer to the opening of the new facility.

Who is on the staff leadership team?

We have begun our search process for Tolson staff leadership! We anticipate that throughout 2022 a variety of staff positions will become available. Please complete this leadership application form if you are interested in becoming part of our team.

Tolson Center for Community Excellence
1320 Benham Ave
Elkhart, IN 46516

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