Jackson Springs rec center adding 7,000 square feet
TOWN ’N COUNTRY - The future multipurpose community room at Jackson Springs Recreation Center should have a stage, billiard room and dance area, residents suggested at this week’s meeting to discuss the proposed addition of about 7,000 square feet. About one dozen residents attended Tuesday evening’s meeting at the center. That turnout is typical for a pre-construction discussion of a building that will not be completed for 18 months to two years, said Hillsborough County parks Director Mark Thornton. In the wake of budget cuts and consolidating 43 parks, the county is expanding Hillsborough’s surviving 12 regional recreation centers. Larger buildings allow for a diversity of programs, Thornton said. There is $2.2 million budgeted for the Jackson Springs project, of which about $1.8 million is expected to cover construction.The building’s layout has not been determined, but it will be attached to the southeast side of the existing 10,375-square-foot gymnasium, which includes a weight room and park office, he said. “We’re kind of excited about this addition and improvement,” said Edith Traina, one of several residents to speak at the meeting. “I feel we need to have the facility available for different kinds of activities for the community. Of course, I’m inclined to be partial toward the senior community,” she said. Traina suggested the addition include a small theater area suitable for showing DVD movies and the like, as well a sound system and space for billiard tables, an exercise room and a kitchen. Thornton said a “warming kitchen” with triple sinks and storage cabinets is possible, but these days commercial kitchens are too expensive. Range hoods required by fire safety regulations cost $30,000 alone, he said. Changes to the existing building could include moving the weight room to accommodate an office for the planned skate park, plus a hardwood floor for the gymnasium, which is now plastic tile, Thornton said. The 13,200-square-foot skate park will be built northwest of the gym. The first design meeting with skaters and other residents is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the Jackson Springs recreation center building.