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City officials break ground on $34.7-million East Tampa park project

aerial rendering of a large community center and public par
Rendering via City of Tampa (tampa.gov)

City officials, Skanska representatives, and dozens of passionate community members attended the ceremonial groundbreaking for the transformation of Fair Oaks Park (5019 N 34th S).

Get ready for a significant development within Tampa’s Parks and Recreation Department portfolio. Recently approved by the Tampa City Council, the $34.7-million project is poised to become one of the largest undertakings to date. At its core is a spacious 33,055-square-foot center, featuring dedicated areas for seniors, classrooms, and an indoor basketball court. Moreover, the building incorporates a substantial array of solar panels aimed at reducing energy costs.

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One of the biggest projects in the parks department’s history

“Fair Oaks Park has served the community for generations, but it is small, outdated, and long overdue for a complete overhaul,” said Mayor Jane Castor.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.

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Opening in the fall 2025 in East Tampa

“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.

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