November 10 marked both the beginning and the (near) end for two multi-year, milestone projects in Southlake. Hosting two groundbreaking ceremonies in one day, the City of Southlake kicked-off construction for final phases of The Marq Southlake and Bicentennial Park.
A crowd of approximately 100 people gathered at Aria Amphitheater behind The Marq at 8:00AM to celebrate the start of phase two, known as Champions Club. City leaders past and present were joined on stage by City staff and members of the Community Enhancement Development Corporation (CEDC), Southlake Parks and Recreation Board and Senior Advisory Commission.
“Today is more than just the groundbreaking of a building,” said Mayor Laura Hill. “It marks an important step in the development of this community. Many people have worked long and hard to get to this point and from this day forward, the real fun begins.”
Former Mayor and CEDC President John Terrell addressed the history of the project, noting that it’s been 20 years in the making and is being built with no tax increase to Southlake residents.
“Since 1996, Southlake citizens have listed a community recreation center as one of their top priorities.
Knowing that this facility was important to the community, the City Council dedicated resources to a feasibility study to help determine what components of a multi-purpose community recreation center should be included in the project. The scope of the project was narrowed down to the plan you see today,” Terrell explained and summarized the multi-year construction process:
The 84,000 square foot Champions Club is being designed to complement the 23,000 square foot Legends Hall that opened December 2015. It will include spaces for fitness, performance training, gymnasium, indoor jog/walk track, indoor aquatics, indoor playground, party rooms, child care and multipurpose classrooms for various programs. With no additional tax increase for Southlake residents, phase two is funded by Community Enhancement Development Corporation (CEDC) bonds, which were approved by voters May 2015. The $37.4 million-dollar facility is scheduled to open summer 2018. When complete, The Marq will be Southlake’s largest public facility at 109,000 square feet (encompassing phase one and two).
“The purpose of Champions Club is to create an elite recreation center for our community to enjoy. Each area has been uniquely designed to accommodate everything from an afternoon workout, a quick dip in the pool to a pickup basketball game all while knowing your child is safe and also enjoying their time here. Champions Club will also be a great place for your favorite recreation programs and birthday parties,” concluded City Manager Shana Yelverton.
The festivities moved across the parking lot at 10:00AM to the Southlake Tennis Center for the groundbreaking ceremony of Bicentennial Park Phase 3. This time, members of the Southlake Parks Development Corporation and Parks and Recreation Board joined City leaders and staff in the ceremonial “digging of the dirt.”
“This is a special day for Southlake. We are truly blessed to have such a diverse park system that caters to the needs of our community,” Mayor Hill stated at the beginning of the ceremony. “Bicentennial Park is a cornerstone in our community. Many people have worked tirelessly to help make this park the jewel that it is today.”
Mayor Hill continued with a brief historical overview of Bicentennial Park, noting Phase 1 was completed in 2011 and Phase 2 in 2015, which included the Texas Rangers Miracle League Field, a 60/90 field, new playground and a new park maintenance facility. Mayor Pro Tem and Southlake Parks and Development Corporation (SPDC) President Randy Williamson spoke about the strategic guidance and significant contributions SPDC has made to the park system.
“Years ago, the City recognized that great cities have incredible parks. In 1992, the Southlake Parks Development Corporation came into being. Its purpose is to administer the city’s half-cent sales tax, and apply it towards parks-related capital projects. Over the years, this group has had a huge task of implementing the Parks, Recreation & Open Space Master Plan, and I think today is a great example of the dedication they have to providing beautiful parks to our community,” said Williamson.
Bicentennial Park Phase 3 – an $8.8 million dollar project funded by the SPDC – includes a new building and enclosed courts for the Southlake Tennis Center, trail system completion, synthetic turf field at current in-line hockey court, landscape and irrigation enhancements, and park amenities enhancements. Certain elements of Bicentennial Park Phase 3 are anticipated to be completed by 2018.
“With such a large robust tennis population here in Southlake, we are looking forward to being able to provide what is sure to become one of the premier tennis facilities in the region,” Tina Wasserman, chair of the Parks and Recreation Board,
For more information about these projects, contact the City of Southlake Southlake Community Services Department, 817-748-8019.