Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Held For The Palm Coast Southern Recreation Center and New Lehigh Trailhead

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The City of Palm Coast held the long-awaited grand opening of the Southern Recreation Center and the new Lehigh Trailhead, located adjacent to the Palm Coast Tennis Center, on February 23rd from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm at 1290 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast, FL 32164. These projects represent significant strides in aligning with the community’s priorities outlined in the recent countywide Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin addressed the crowd before the self-guided tour of the new facility. “Soon you’ll be seeing construction of five new hydro grade plating tennis courts with one premium stadium court for tournament play. There’s so much more to this complex than just tennis and pickleball. As you enter from Belle Terre Parkway, you’ll find a completely expanded trailhead to the popular Lehigh Trail. You will soon see abundant produce growing in our community gardens. You can bring your dog to play at our small dog park or large dogs to play at the large dog park or you can walk, hike, or bike our trail. The entire Southern Recreation Center project was designed to meet prestigious leadership and energy and environmental design or LEED standards. We were proud of the use of reflective materials and construction designed to combat heat and the 201 solar panels that will be projected to cover most of the electricity costs and the recycled furniture you see here today. And through the optimization of low flow water fixtures, energy efficiency and solar, we’re proud to provide this beautiful amenity to our community. But the most important component of this 63 acre facility is that your city council authorized construction, wait for it, without spending one single penny of your tax dollars. Our community partners played the most crucial role. Flagler County Tourist Development Council approved the $739,158 grant for the center. FPL supplied an easement and the Florida Department of Transportation contributed $1,240,000 to the trailhead. Additional funds came from the State Road 100 Redevelopment Agency and the park impact fees all of us paid to participate in recreational programs.”

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County Commissioner Andy Dance also addressed the crowd prior to the ribbon cutting. “Great to see everybody here. It’s my honor on behalf of Flagler County Board of County Commissioners and the Tourist Development Council to join you in this grand opening of this fabulous facility. I just got my tour a few minutes ago. I will also go off script for a few minutes. Since this is a beautiful tennis and pickleball facility, but the mayor also mentioned the trailhead. I’m an avid cyclist. I’m equally excited about the Trailhead expansion and that part of the project. I still have yet to play pickleball. I played tennis in my youth, but not pickleball yet, but look forward to it. It’s my duty to talk about some boring statistics, but I think they’re relevant as we understand the breadth of this project behind me. First off, I’d like to welcome Amy Lucasic, who is our tourist development director. And also from the County Mike Legacy from Land Management and Services. And I don’t believe he’s here, but recognition should go to Commissioner Dave Sullivan, who was the tourist development chair prior to me last year. And I shephereded this through to the commission. So thanks, Commissioner. The primary goal of the capital project grant funding is to support facilities that raise the community’s profile and enhance the county’s economic building, economic including the vital tourism industry that attracts events that bring overnight visitors. This Southern Rec Center will do just that. It’s estimated by year three these tournaments will have well over $6 million annual economic impact to the community. And that’s all made possible thanks to the tourism capital projects fund, which allows us to help and support amazing projects like this and the infrastructure we see today.”

During the event, attendees took self-guided tours of the Southern Recreation Center and Lehigh Trailhead, exploring the cutting-edge facilities and recreational spaces promoting health, wellness, and community engagement. Staff was present to address inquiries and provide insights into the projects.

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Attendees were also provided with refreshments from Redefined Food Co, who was awarded the lease to run the food and drink concession at the Southern Recreation Center. They will be opening on March 3.

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Featuring a Community Building equipped with offices, restrooms, locker rooms, kitchen dining space, and public access to two multi-purpose rooms, along with exterior amenities like twelve pickleball courts, six of which are covered for year-round use, the center caters to various recreational needs.

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The Lehigh Trailhead project transforms the area into a vibrant park, offering a plethora of amenities including restroom facilities, community gardens, a dog park, and ample parking spaces, with support from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).

To view photos from the grand opening, click here.

By Flagler County Buzz

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