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New gym takes shape at Gardenville Recreation Center

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image Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandra Murman, fourth from left, was among those on hand to help break ground on the project last month.

The new gym will be home to a lot more than just basketball.

By KEVIN BRADY
 
A  new 10,000-square-foot gymnasium on the grounds of the Gardenville Recreation Center, 6219 Symmes Road, Gibsonton, is already taking shape.

The multipurpose facility will feature spring-flooring to provide shock absorption for a variety of sports and will open the door to new athletic leagues, tournaments, classes and other events to be held at the new gym. 

Construction began last month and the gym is expected to be completed by early 2015.

Brandon Bonilla, for one, can’t wait. “We can play on the outdoor basketball court here for a couple of hours in the morning before it becomes too hot to play, so a new indoor gym will be a lot better because we can play longer,” said the Gibsonton teen, as he took a break from a game of hoops at the recreation center.

“Some kids don’t come because it just gets too hot, but if it’s inside, there will be no excuse.” Bonilla said. “I think you will see more kids playing.” 

Nestled in a 9-acre park on Symmes Road, the current recreation center is home to after-school care programs, outdoor basketball courts, a fitness room, picnic shelters, a meeting room and playground.

The center, a hub for community events serving upward of 800 people a week from Gibsonton and surrounding communities, also hosts programs for teens, toddlers and seniors, as well as a popular summer camp program.

The new gym will be home to a lot more than just basketball.

“It’s going to be a multi-use facility with basketball, volleyball and pickleball (a popular new sport that is a hybrid of tennis and table tennis) as well as a new weight room,” said David Ramirez, Gardenville’s program supervisor, who has been at the center since 1995.

The gym will also be used for meetings, special community events and the center’s popular summer camp, spring and winter break programs.

“We are going to go all the way from youth to senior programming in the gym, so it will definitely be multigenerational,” Ramirez said. “The walls are already going up, so we are jamming.” 

“We are very excited to get this built and really looking forward to it. We are going to be the premier recreation site for the Gibsonton community.”

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