City to purchase YMCA building, repurpose it as a community center

In response to ongoing community discussions around improvements needed in Las Vegas Trail area and in partnership with the YMCA of Fort Worth and LVTRise, the Fort Worth City Council unanimously agreed to purchase the Westside YMCA building near Las Vegas Trail and renovate it into a new community center and park.

“We are pleased to provide a permanent location for the many partners working with LVTRise to serve the residents in the Las Vegas Trail area,” said Brian Byrd, Fort Worth City Council Member representing District 3 and the Las Vegas Trail area. “Many thanks to everyone who has worked so hard these past 18 months.”

The Y has agreed to sell the property to the city for $242,000 plus closing costs, knowing that together with multiple organizations at the table a bigger impact will be made. The property includes about five acres of land, two buildings totaling 12,650 feet, a parking lot and recreation amenities. As part of the proposed renovations to maximize utilization of the property, the existing, aging swimming pool on the site will be filled in.

“We are excited for what these partnerships will bring to the Las Vegas Trail area,” notes Tony Shuman, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth. “We will be able to better serve families in west Fort Worth by partnering with the City of Fort Worth, Las Vegas Trail Revitalization Project and other local partners to make a larger impact.”

The Westside YMCA location will transition to a city-owned property in mid-April and will be managed by LVTRise, a cooperative effort by private companies, human services organizations and government agencies including: Tarrant Area Food Bank, Community Learning Center, Tarrant Area Public Health, Workforce Solutions, YMCA of Fort Worth, Boys and Girls Club, WestAid, and Fort Worth Public Library.

The Y will continue to provide wellness and youth programs in partnership with LVTRise in West Fort Worth.

The existing YMCA building will be renovated to accommodate new programming needs and to address ADA accessibility. Total estimated cost for building renovation and site improvements is $3.2 million.

Beginning April 1, the initial hours of operations will be 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. Service providers will be onsite Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

“I am proud to witness such a key transition for LVTRise,” said Karmen Rubin, LVTRise Executive Director. “We are well on our way to executing the vision of providing the Las Vegas Trail community a social service hub through the spirit of collaboration with dedicated partners.”

Just over four acres of land will be dedicated as Calmont Park. An additional one acre of land will be reserved for future growth of LVTRise programming. The property and improvements will be leased to LVTRise, which will in turn be responsible for providing programs, services and recreational opportunities for the community.

Residents, including current YMCA members, will be able to use this new community center free of charge.
For more information on the new community center, visit LVTRise.org.

Project partners

YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth

With 128 years of service to the Fort Worth area, the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth serves more than 112,000 unique individuals on an annual basis. Its work impacts our community daily through programs that emphasize youth development, encourage healthy living, and empower social responsibility.

LVTRise

LVTRISE represents a partnership of private companies, human service organizations and government agencies dedicated to helping residents of the Las Vegas Trail area improve their neighborhood and their lives. The partnership focuses resources for both sustained change and immediate positive impact to life in the Las Vegas Trail area.

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Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve Has Big Future

What’s ahead for the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve? A lot. The City of Southlake has big plans to take the fun outdoors in 2019.

“The recent shift in the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve management is a rich opportunity to extend our award-winning programming,” said Community Services Director Chris Tribble. “While we are keeping popular programs such as the Cross Timbers Forest Preschool, City staff is also working on some great ideas to take advantage of the close to 900 acres of Cross Timbers habitat.”

Dan Friedman, City of Southlake

The popular Cross Timbers Forest Preschool program will continue to be led by Dan Friedman. Dan has worked at the Preserve for the past two years and says he “is passionate about educating people about the environment.” The preschool will continue to be influenced by the European-style Forest Schools philosophy.

Friedman noted that there is space available for more students. Visit the City’s Cross Timbers Forest Pre-School page on ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com for registration information. Or you can call (817) 748-8272.

The Preserve will also be the setting for MusicMaker- Mommy & Me -Exploring Nature’s Symphony classes, Family Fun @ BJNC on April 6 and May 18, The Cross Timbers Nature Camp – Spring Break Recycle Earth March 11-15 as well the Youth Explorer’s Saturdays on March 23, April 27, and May 18. For more information on all of these programs visit ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com/NaturePrograms.

The Bob Jones Preserve also boasts more than 20 miles of hiking trails.  Tribble notes that the Walnut Grove National Recreation Trail is also accessible at several points along White Chapel Boulevard and near the end of E. Bob Jones Road.

Kids Hiking at the Bob Jones Nature Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Preserve, will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day,” said Tribble.  “When the City established The Preserve, we did as a way to preserve an important part of Southlake’s history as well as keep a beautiful piece of land passive and development free. We want people to enjoy the trails, take pictures and show the world what they are experiencing in nature.”

Tribble also noted that the Bob Jones Nature Center would be open to the public during programming hours.  “While the Nature Center building will operate a little differently than it has in the past, it will be the home to much of our outdoor education programming.”

For more information about what’s ahead for the Bob Jones Nature Center and Preserve and how you can get involved in the great outdoors, please visit www.ExperienceSouthlakeTexas.com/NaturePrograms or you can contact us at (817) 748-8272.

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day at your local community center

Enjoy a little sugar, spice and everything nice at an upcoming Valentine’s Day event hosted by one of Fort Worth’s community centers.

Contact a center for specific information and event prices.

Upcoming events:

Valentine’s Day Dance at Greenbriar: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 2019; Greenbriar Community Center, 5200 Hemphill St.

Family Valentine’s Party at R.D. Evans Community Center: 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8, 2019; R.D. Evans Community Center, 3242 Lackland Rd..

Daddy Daughter Dance at Riverside Community Center: 7 p.m. Feb. 8, 2019; Riverside Community Center, 3700 E. Belknap.

Sweetheart Social at Hillside Community Center: 10 a.m. Feb. 12, 2019; Hillside Community Center, 1201 E. Maddox.

Sweetheart Social at Thomas Place Community Center: 10 a.m. Feb. 12, 2019; Thomas Place Community Center, 4237 Lafayette Ave.

Daddy Daughter Dance at Victory Forest Community Center: 6 p.m. Feb. 13, 2019; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill.

Love Muffins’ Day at Diamond Hill Community Center: 3:30 p.m. Feb. 14, 2019; Diamond Hill Community Center, 1701 NE 36th St.

Valentine’s Dance at Andrew Doc Session Community Center: 5:30 p.m. Feb. 14, 2019; Andrew Doc Session Community Center, 201 S. Sylvania.

Mother Son Date Night at Victory Forest Community Center: 6 p.m. Feb. 14, 2019; Victory Forest Community Center, 3427 Hemphill St.

Daddy Daughter Dance at Chisholm Trail Community Center: 6 p.m. Feb. 16, 2019; Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd.

Spring Recreation Catalog

The Spring Recreation Catalog should be available at all city community centers by the end of February. Use it to sign up for spring classes and programs, find out information about upcoming special events, and learn more about the many services offered by your nearest center.

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TCC expands Fire Service Training Center

Tarrant County College Northwest is growing its Fire Service Training Center to expand opportunities for the next generation of first responders. On Friday, Jan. 11, at 11 a.m., the Fire Service Training Center will officially open the campus’s Fire Station 2. The event will include a ribbon cutting, remarks by TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini and TCC Northwest President Zarina Blankenbaker and opportunities to tour the new space.

With the addition of Fire Station 2, a two-bay structure, the College has adequate space to house all its fire trucks. The 50’x60’ station has dedicated

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Enclosed Courts Coming Soon to the Southlake Tennis Center

With construction beginning this week on the two new indoor courts, there will soon be even more to love about the recently renovated Southlake Tennis Center.

Since the Tennis Center’s beautiful new clubhouse was unveiled earlier this year, visitors have enjoyed state-of-the-art amenities, a full-service pro shop and a multipurpose Club Room that’s the perfect rental space for meetings, luncheons and other special events. With the addition of two enclosed courts, visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy the award-winning facility no matter the weather.

This final round of renovations will transform courts eight and nine into fully temperature-controlled indoor courts. Construction begins this week and is expected to conclude in summer 2019. During construction, the external gate to courts 17, 18 and 19 will not be accessible for visitors wishing to use the facility after hours. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage players to utilize the two courts by the water tower during the transition, both of which are open to the public. The gate will be re-opened once construction is complete.

For more information, contact the Southlake Tennis Center at (817) 421-5605.

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Drop by the Writing Center

You catch flies with honey, it’s said, but what do you use to catch students?

Coffee.

At least that’s the bait of preference for Gabrielle “Gabby” Raymond as she embarks on a marketing program to lure South Campus students to her underground lair, otherwise known at the Writing Center.

The plan, of course, is that those who come for a cup will see and take advantage of what’s offered, not only in the Writing Center, but also in the Language Acquisition Lab, Student Success Lab and Computer Lab. All are housed in SCLC, the subterranean facility just north of the Garrett

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City breaks ground on Como Community Center

The Como community is getting a new community center that will offer both youth and adult programming, fitness resources and meeting space. City officials joined Como residents to break ground on the project on Oct. 29.

After the new center is operational by fall 2019, the old building will be demolished.

Funded by the 2014 bond program and other sources, the center is expected to cost more than $12 million. Amenities in the 25,000-square-foot facility will include classrooms and activity rooms, a demonstration kitchen, computer lab, senior activity area, improved administrative offices, Community Action Partners social service office, fitness area, gymnasium, outdoor seating, a customer-friendly reception desk, increased special event space and a spacious lobby.

The original Como Community Center was built in 1970 and is located on Horne Street near West Vickery Boulevard. Its after-school program has been in existence for more than 20 years, and as many as140 students participate annually. Additionally, Como is the only community center in Fort Worth that has a track and field team, as well as peewee football and cheerleading leagues.

The center provides an evening meal program daily, a weekend food program and a mobile pantry in collaboration with Tarrant Area Food Bank. The center is a Community Action Partners site that assists low-income individuals.

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$200,000 grant to enhance trails at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge

Thanks to a fundraising effort led by the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department awarded a $200,000 recreational trails grant to enhance trail facilities.

The Friends raised more than $100,000 in matching funds for the project. The grant will fund additional parking, trail stabilization and restoration as well as a trailhead kiosk and a compost toilet.

The project will take place at the southern portion of the nature center’s 20 miles of trails at Greer Island. This area suffered extensive flooding in 2014 and 2015, creating the need for restoration.

Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, presented the Friends with a check for $200,000 at a reception honoring Fort Worth resident Ralph Duggins, who was appointed Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission chairman earlier this year. The event also kicked off the initial phase of the nature center’s plans to preserve and enhance one of the largest urban nature parks with the goal of making it one of the best in the country.

The trails are used by more than 60,000 visitors annually with a growth rate of 6 percent per year. The trail system forms one of the largest and most diverse trail systems in North Central Texas.

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TCC South’s LEED Platinum Center of Excellence for Energy Technology Included in 9th Annual DFW Solar Tour

Underscoring its commitment to serving the community through environmental sustainability, Tarrant County College South Campus is one of 30 eco-friendly locations participating in this year’s DFW Solar Tour. This free event enables people to learn how homeowners and businesses are using solar energy, wind energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies to save money and conserve resources.

Hundreds of people are expected to take self-guided tours of the new LEED Platinum Center of Excellence for Energy Technology, an award-winning facility that features a custom-designed

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