Sports, Arts Abound At Much-Anticipated Springhill Park Community Center

This time next year, people living in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa will have ample opportunities to dribble, volley, pass and perform when the Springhill Park Community Center opens in March, 2011, at 1000 Eskimo Ave.

Groundbreaking took place on June 5, 2010, for the 16,000-square-foot facility, which will feature a gymnasium, kitchen, classroom, multipurpose room, theater arts classrooms, splash pad, play equipment, and a new sports field. The gymnasium features clerestory windows that take advantage of natural light. Anticipated programs include youth and adult sports such as basketball, flag football, volleyball and softball; adult and senior fitness and nutrition classes; computer classes; teen programs such as cheerleading and step instruction; and classes in theater, arts and crafts and cooking.

Budding young artists will have an opportunity to place their individual imprint on the new center. Seminole Heights resident and glass sculptor Susan Gott is engaging the help of school-aged children this fall to design a glass piece that will hang in the center's atrium.

"We'll be working with hot glass," says Gott, owner of Phoenix Glass Studio. "It'll be a lot of fun for all of us because we have to get these tear-shaped pieces of glass hot, color each one, and then swing it to shape it. And it's good for all of us to be a part of this because it's for our community and we can take ownership of it."

And the Springhill Park center will be environmentally sound. According to Thomas Hester, the city of Tampa's project architect, the center is being designed according to LEED standards, although it will not be certified.

"Although this building will not be certified, the design guidelines were utilized," says Hester. "And where common design practices met the requirements and the budget allowed, the design reflects green building practices."

Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Sources: Susan Gott, Phoenix Glass Studio; Thomas Hester, City of Tampa
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