Largo is building a new community center at 400 Alternate Keene Road.
And the building is slated to earn a gold LEED certification.
"We were shooting for the silver," says Joan
Byrne, director of parks & recreation. "But it looks like we'll be
getting the gold. This will be the first building in the city to get the
According to Brian Usher,
director of Largo's public works department, the building's construction
employs a tilt-up
that requires that wall concrete be poured into a precast
form and then lifted into place after it hardens. This technique
increases building efficiency and reduces energy costs. But there is
more to the construction that helped earn the gold rating.
The building's roof will have solar panels,
and its mechanical systems are being designed with control systems that
minimize operational costs and maximize efficiency. A rainwater
irrigation system is planned, as well as landscaping using drought-hardy
plants. The project is also using only local materials.
The community center replaces the facility that currently
resides in Largo's redevelopment district. "Our current
had a fire in 1998," explains Byrne. "So this
building is a replacement that doubles the size and capacity of the
The current community
center, at 65 4th St. NW, will close and its location will be offered
for urban development. Like its predecessor, the Keene facility will
focus primarily on senior recreation and fitness by day and the arts in
the afternoon and early evening. It will contain three studios with
springboard floors, a ballroom, black box theater and several
classrooms, among other amenities.
"We have had
with a strong arts program, but no room for classes. This
building will provide room for those classes," says Byrne.
Source: Joan Byrne, Largo Parks &
Recreation; Brian Usher, Largo Public Works