Sulphur Springs Gets New Community Center, Tampa

A new community center opens in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood of Tampa.

Located at 1000 E. Eskimo Ave. between Eskimo and Okaloosa Avenues, the $2.5 million, 16,000-square-foot Springhill Park Community Center will be the location of the middle school component of the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA's Neighborhood of Promise Initiative (NOPI) efforts.

Featuring work by Tampa artist Susan Gott, the new community center provides academic support and mentoring opportunities for children transitioning into middle school in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood. A gymnasium, warming kitchen, computer classroom, multipurpose room, splash pad, playground and sports field will be made available to community members, replacing a once rundown block previously devoted to a baseball field.

In addition, the Virginia Rivers Creative Arts Studio will call the new Springhill Community Center home, offering three classrooms and a performance workshop dedicated to theater and performing arts programs.

“This [effort] will continue to strengthen the foundation of our community,” says Mike McCollum, operations executive director of the Promise Initiative.

Funded by Community Investment Tax, the new center will focus on serving social, recreational, health and educational needs through a variety of programs and classes in the economically challenged Sulphur Springs neighborhood.

According to McCollum, the only way to eradicate generational poverty is to implement a complete wraparound model that works to address the systematic issues plaguing low-income communities.

Apart from establishing the new Springhill Park Community Center, NOPI is making additional investments in Sulphur Springs, including the recent opening of Layla's House, a new community center designed to provide assistance to low-income families.

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Mike McCollum, NOPI
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