Three City of Tampa Parks Win Community Design Awards

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Three of Tampa's parks were honored for their designs at the Planning Commission's 30th Anniversary Community Design Awards.

Springhill Community Center won an Award of Excellence for Public Participation. Scheduled to open on May 22, the Springhill Community Center is located in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood. Members of the Sulphur Springs community including students from Sulphur Springs Elementary participated in the design process. The community center includes a gymnasium, warming kitchen, computer classroom, multi-purpose room, splash pad, play ground, and a new sports field. The Virginia Rivers Creative Arts Studio, also located within the community center, has four classrooms dedicated to the theatre arts programs. The atrium hosts a public art mobile by local Seminole Heights glass sculptor Susan Gott. Community children participated in the building of the glass mobile at the sculptors’ studio.

Washington Street Park, located in the heart of the Channel District, won an Award of Excellence for Institutional, Public, or Quasi-Public category. The park was designed by WilsonMiller Stantec and is the result of the public participation process, which responded to the neighborhood’s needs. The half-acre nautical-theme park has oversized sea grass sculptures, a large canvas shade structure and plaza, a lawn area, a non-traditional play area, and a dog run. The design allows for flexible use of the plaza and lawn areas, accommodating gatherings of various sizes as well as individual pursuits. The park is enhanced at night with special light features, including spot lights and LED fiber optic lights imbedded into the main entry columns.

Located in South Tampa along busy S. Howard Avenue, Bern's Park won an Award of Merit for Public Bern Park in South TampaParticipation. The original Luna Park was renamed to 'Bern's Park' to honor Bern Laxer's contribution to the quality of life in his beloved Tampa. The park setting offers a two-tiered fountain surrounded with benches for sitting and relaxing. The classically designed walkways encourage neighborhood strolling. The fountain is centrally located in the triangular green space and is adorned with 'Three Graces', a sculpture donated by the Laxer Family.

The Community Design Awards is a well-respected program honoring the very best in planning and community design in Hillsborough County.