Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Southwest Recreation Center

$2 million renovation earns praise at Largo's Southwest Recreation Center

Ernie Whalen keeps watch as his grandson, Eric Whalen, 3, of Largo, runs on the treadmill in the fitness area of Largo’s Southwest Recreation Complex, which had its grand reopening Saturday.

MELISSA LYTTLE | Times

Ernie Whalen keeps watch as his grandson, Eric Whalen, 3, of Largo, runs on the treadmill in the fitness area of Largo’s Southwest Recreation Complex, which had its grand reopening Saturday.

To some, a $2 million makeover may seem odd in light of these tough financial times.

However, at Saturday's open house at Largo's Southwest Recreation Complex, which just received the expensive facelift, the same words were heard over and over.

"It's worth the money,'' said Bradley Richards, 48. "I bet you're going to see a spike in real estate sales between here and Walsingham Road, too. This place is beautiful. It's good for the whole city.''

"It wasn't cheap, and I know there's lots of fellows in here with stinky shoes, but this place is a breath of fresh air,'' said Georgia Howard, 72, as her grandson marched on the treadmill.

And for David Showalter, 73, who has been involved with Largo recreation programs since 1999, the makeover just makes sense.

"I tell you this: I was sick and tired of getting inside the tiny exercise room that used to be at the old entrance," he said. "Now you're talking real deal.''

The project, funded through the Penny for Pinellas program, began at the end of the summer camp season last August. After the kids bid farewell to Jennifer McMahon, Southwest Recreation manager, her staff packed up countless boxes. The majority of activity was shifted to Play Express at Barclay Square.

The city knocked down the four aging racquetball courts. In their place, four classrooms have been built.

Along with that, a fitness center, double the size of the old one, is at the front of the facility. Meanwhile, the basketball court maintains its place in the center of the interior.

After getting her face painted by a member of Uptown Clowns who helped with Saturday's festivities, Emily Roldan, 9, darted from the basketball courts to check out the Nautilus equipment.

She also dragged her mother into Classroom A, where they participated in a Jazzercize demonstration.

"I've been at Southwest many times with my daughter," joked Noraima Roldan. "But now, this doesn't feel like a rec center, it's a country club.''

To learn more

To participate in most recreation programs through the city of Largo, including the use of facilities at Southwest Recreation Complex, 13120 Vonn Road, a membership card is required.

Cost: Residents, $5 for one year; nonresidents, $30 for six months, $49 for one year and $98 for two years.

To register: Go to any city recreation site. Proof of residency, along with a picture identification, is required.

For information: Visit www.largo.com or call (727) 518-3125 or (727) 518-3016

By the numbers

1,350 Number of people who attended Saturday's open house at Southwest Recreation Complex.

95 Number of Largo recreation memberships purchased during the open house.

1985 Year the original Southwest complex opened.

240 Average number of summer campers who will use Southwest complex this summer.

$2 million renovation earns praise at Largo's Southwest Recreation Center 06/02/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 7:13pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.