About the Douglass Center

History of the Douglass Center


In the 1940s, Manhattan began construction on what was then the U.S.O. for African-American soldiers. This building also provided education and recreation for the soldiers and the black community. After World War II, this building was donated to the City of Manhattan and became the foundation of the Douglass Center. It provided a safe place for kids to go for recreation. The center continues to provide affordable recreational programming for the entire community. 

Additional Information


Vision Statement


  • As a model community center, we:
    • Provide educational programs for all ages
    • Motivate our youth
    • Provide leisure programs for our seniors
    • Integrate community recreational programs based on need, desire and customer focus/feedback
    • Embrace the diversity of the community by refining, developing and expanding culturally diverse programs
    • Enhance existing facilities, and with financial resources, ensure the positive and successful future of the center
    • Foster the collective spirit of Manhattan and Kansas State University.
    • Improve business acumen and expand networking
    • Advocate for excellence