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Recreation sites need a tuneup, consultant says

The city's recreation properties aren't in bad shape, Seminole's recreation consultant says, but they all need some changes to make them better.

"I don't think we found any real surprises," said Steve Lafferty, an architect with Mudano and Associates, the company doing the comprehensive study of Seminole's recreation sites and programs.

The city has four properties set aside for recreation: a three-story former church and school on 14 acres on 113th Street; a 10-acre park surrounding City Hall on Ridge Road; 1\ acres near the fire station on 113th Street with tennis courts, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard courts; and a 10-acre park and lake in the Blossom Lake Village neighborhood.

The first step for the consultant was assessing the property; the next step will be recommending which programs to offer.

In its report on the state of the properties, Mudano and Associates architects have found that the city's recreation center building appears to be structurally sound, but will need major renovations, including a new heating and air conditioning system, a fire sprinkler system, an elevator and new bathrooms that meet Americans with Disabilities Act specifications.

Resident surveys on recreation have found a strong interest in a city pool. A pool at the recreation center would present some engineering problems, the report says, but would be feasible.

The consultant said the tennis court property on 113th Street is essentially hidden. It needs a sign and some maintenance, the report said.

The city might also consider moving the small building there to make way for more tennis courts or parking, according to the report.

"People don't know it's there," Lafferty said. "That park really lends itself to being dedicated to tennis."

Blossom Lake Park is a beautiful undeveloped piece of property, the report says. That challenge is going to be designing recreation activities there that don't disturb the neighbors, the report says.

The city park is well used, the report says. It needs only some minor cosmetic changes and perhaps an alteration to its traffic pattern to better separate vehicles and pedestrians.

"The amount of use that park gets is pretty phenomenal," Lafferty said.

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