Friday, September 29, 2023

City of Southlake Breaks Ground on New Pickleball Facility

The fastest-growing sport in America is finding a permanent home in Southlake!

This Wednesday, April 19, City officials gathered in Bicentennial Park to officially break ground on the much-awaited pickleball facility. As Southlake has grown over the years, so has the emergence of Pickleball. Bicentennial Park is a cornerstone of our community and the new pickleball facility will only add to its greatness.

City leaders from the City Council, Southlake Parks Development Corporation, and Park and Recreation Board gathered early on Wednesday morning to kick off the construction of the facility. Speeches by Mayor Huffman, Mayor Pro Tem Williamson, and Park Board Chair Scharli explained how this project came to fruition.

Recognizing the growing popularity and demand for the sport, City Council awarded the bid to construct a nine-court pickleball facility within Bicentennial Park during a March 2023 City Council meeting. Recommendations for investing in a pickleball facility were outlined in the Southlake 2035 Parks, Recreation & Open Space Master Plan adopted by City Council at their June 15, 2021 meeting. The new $4.5 million complex will be funded by the Southlake Parks Development Corporation (SPDC) Capital Improvements Program.

Created in 1992, the Southlake Parks and Development Corporation administers the city’s half-cent sales tax and applies it toward parks-related capital projects. Since then, this funding source has paid for the redevelopment and construction of various community parks such as Bicentennial Park, Bob Jones Park, and North Park.

Construction started the week of April 14, 2023, with an estimated completion date of fall 2023. Once completed, along with plenty of space to socialize with friends and family, the facility will house eight pickleball courts, one championship court, restrooms, and a staff office. Visit our Pickleball page to learn more about the project.

We can’t wait to celebrate the grand opening of Southlake’s newest community facility in the Fall!

Let’s Move Some Dirt: City Hosts Groundbreaking Ceremonies for The Marq Southlake Champions Club and Bicentennial Park Phase 3

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. The Marq Southlake Champions Club groundbreaking 2016

“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:

  •  August 2013 – Phase 1 design
  • June 2014 – Site plan for Phase 1 approved
  • September 2014 – Phase 1 construction begins
  • May 2015 – Tax repurpose election to fund Phase 2
  • Summer 2015 – Proposed Phase 2 design
  • December 2015 – Phase 1 opens
  • Fall 2016 – Phase 2 construction begins
  • Summer 2018 – Phase 2 opens

The Marq Southlake Champions Club groundbreaking 2016The 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.”

Bicentennial Park Phase 3 groundbreaking tennis center 2016“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.

Bicentennial Park Phase 3 groundbreaking tennis center 2016“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.

Community Recreation Center Groundbreaking September 27, 2014

CRC Groundbreaking Electronic Invite for PublicIt has been 18 years in the making, but the long-awaited construction of the Southlake community recreation center (CRC) will kick-off with a groundbreaking event September 27, 9:00am to noon, at its home in Bicentennial Park. The City invites the community to join the fun with tours, breakfast, lunch and entertainment.

To help attendees better envision the size and scope of the CRC, the 105,000 square foot building will be outlined in paint and interior spaces marked with display boards. City staff members will provide guided tours throughout the facility and answer questions. Though attendees will be able to get a feel for what the entire facility will offer, the groundbreaking marks the start of construction for Phase 1 of the CRC. Phase 1, which is fully funded with cash set aside for the project since 2009, will include an events hall, multipurpose conference & meeting spaces, a club lounge, catering kitchen, senior center, an outdoor amphitheater and events space. Estimated completion for Phase 1 is December 2015.

Phase 2 of the CRC will include spaces for fitness, performance training, gymnasium, indoor jog/walk track, indoor aquatics, indoor playground, party rooms, early learning classroom, child watch and multipurpose classrooms for programs.

Funding for Phase 2 requires voter approval. In May 2015, Southlake voters will be asked to consider re-purposing an existing sales tax revenue source (70-75% of which is funded by non-Southlake residents) to construct and offset a portion of the facility operating cost. It is important to note that the facility will not require an increase in taxes for residents. If approved, Phase 2 construction would begin in the Fall of 2016.

“This is more than just a typical groundbreaking ceremony and we’re pulling out all the stops to engage citizens from the beginning. We want the community to be involved in this facility every step of the way,” said Chris Tribble, Director of Community Services for the City of Southlake, noting there will be a design center where attendees can learn more about the facility, and the Southlake Community Band will play in the space designated for the amphitheater.

Below is a schedule of events:

  • 9:00AM: Breakfast served
  • 9:15AM: Presentation and Groundbreaking Ceremony
  • 10:00AM: Tours and giveaways
  • 11:00AM: Lunch served

The CRC has been in the Parks Master Plan since 1996 and became a top priority when it was frequently cited in the 2009 and 2011 citizen surveys. In August 2013, City Council put the plan into action when it approved $1.72M to design phase 1 and the site plan was approved at the June 3, 2014 City Council meeting.

The multi-year timeline below highlights important dates in the development of the CRC:

  • August 2013 – Phase 1 design
  • June 2014 – Site plan for Phase 1 approved
  • September 2014 – Phase 1 construction begins
  • May 2015 – Tax repurpose election to fund Phase 2
  • Summer 2015 – Proposed Phase 2 design
  • December 2015 – Phase 1 opens
  • Fall 2016 – Proposed Phase 2 construction begins
  • Early 2018 – Proposed Phase 2 opens

The Southlake CRC is located at 315 North Shady Oaks Drive in the southwest corner of Bicentennial Park. For more information, visit

Partner Cities Break Ground on Regional Jail and Regional Animal Adoption Center

Southlake Assistant City Manager, Ben Thatcher, pictured 3rd from the right

Officials with Keller, Colleyville, Southlake and Westlake broke ground on the cities’ new Regional Jail and Animal Services facility the morning of Friday, March 1. The 21,000 square feet of expansions and renovations to the existing Keller Police Facility at 330 Rufe Snow Drive is budgeted at a cost of $8.6 million.

Construction plans reveal a complete transformation of the facility’s municipal court, holding facility and existing Animal Services area to provide additional room, security, technology and modernity.

Renovations to the regional holding facility will more than triple the number of cells, offer additional security for employees and short-term detainees, upgrade technology and even provide a kiosk at which family members and friends will be able to pay detainees’ bonds. The improved adoption center will offer about four times the current capacity for dogs and double the capacity for cats. The expansion will also include a 1,700-square-foot dog courtyard, a medical area for minor surgical procedures, a larger adoption and socialization area, and room to expand the center’s volunteer program.

Expansion of the adoption center follows the four cities’ merger of their Animal Services operations on Oct. 1, 2012. The cities of Southlake and Keller partnered on jailing efforts in 2007 after approving Tarrant County’s first merger of emergency dispatch services. Colleyville joined that partnership in 2010. The cities’ regional dispatch center, housed in Keller and known as the Northeast Tarrant Communications Center (or NETCOM), serves an area of more than 60 square miles and a population of more than 90,000. Keller police have been providing services to the Town of Westlake since 2002.

*Pictured above from left to right: Tom Soulsby, a founding member of the Keller Crime Control and Prevention District; Project Manager Chris Malone of Ratliff Construction; Hal Sargent of Brinkley Sargent Architects of Dallas; Mark Jones, chairman of the Keller Crime Control and Prevention District; Colleyville Mayor David Kelly; Keller Mayor Pat McGrail; Keller Councilmen Bill Dodge and John Hoffmann; Southlake Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher; Keller Councilman Gary Reaves; and Keller Public Safety Director and Police Chief Mark Hafner.