Fair Oaks Park Neighbors Brainstorm Ideas For East Tampa Community Center

Fair Oaks Park is nestled in a residential community of single-family homes along East Tampa's North 34th Street. And it needs a new community center. So on March 10, residents met to discuss what a new community center would look like and offer.

According to Peg Bors, the city's Parks and Recreation project manager, residents' requests for Fair Oaks included basketball courts, a flag football field, conference rooms, bathrooms with outdoor access, a controlled entrance area and better lighting around an adjacent lake. She says the new building would be relocated to the northwest corner of the existing property. The old center would be torn down to make room for sports fields and courts.

"Residents liked options that allowed for two basketball courts," says Bors. "They only have one right now. And we don't really have room for a real football field. But a flag football field; there's room for that."

Bors says the existing center no longer meets the needs of the surrounding community.

"We all want to make site more usable for other things,'' she says. "It's my understanding that the current building doesn't meet programming needs and is structurally wanting because of maintenance issues."

Attendance at the March 10 meeting was less than anticipated, but the city will move forward with plans based on input from the meeting. "We'll have another meeting when we've formulated and tweaked their requests with results from a survey we're doing and see what we can come up with."

Bors says no definitive date has been set for completion of new new center. "Maybe 2015," she says. "It all depends on funding. We're trying to plan now so when funding comes through we can move forward with it."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Peg Bors, City of Tampa

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