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Tampa breaks ground on state-of-the-art East Tampa Recreation Complex

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City officials, Skanska representatives, and dozens of passionate community members will attend the ceremonial groundbreaking for the transformation of Fair Oaks Park.

The $34.7-million project, approved by Tampa City Council last month, will be one of the largest projects undertaken in the Parks and Recreation Department portfolio. The centerpiece is a 33,055-square-foot center, with space dedicated to seniors, classrooms, and an indoor basketball court. Additionally, the building boasts a large collection of solar panels to cut energy costs.

"Fair Oaks Park has served the community for generations, but it is small, outdated, and long overdue for a complete overhaul," said Mayor Jane Castor. "Once we are done, East Tampa will be home to one of the city's most magnificent parks, serving the young and the young at heart."

The full East Tampa Recreation Complex covers 10.25 acres and will include one outdoor basketball court and two outdoor pickleball courts, a multipurpose sports field, 1.5 miles of walking trails and 26 benches.

The Herbert D. Carrington Sr. Community Lake will get a lighted aerator, and there also will be a fenced-in playground with fully inclusive play elements.

“The new Fair Oaks Park will be a generational victory for the community and for the City of Tampa," said Council Member Gwendolyn Henderson. "East Tampa has had a series of extraordinary investments, like the City Center at Hanna Avenue, The Skills Center, and other impactful projects that are spurring the economy and uplifting the community. Fair Oaks Park keeps this momentum going and we could not be more excited for the bright future that lies ahead."

The new recreation center is expected to open in Fall 2025, and the entire complex is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2026. The current center on the north end of the property will remain open until the new building, on the south end, opens.