Youth baseball and softball, for both summer and fall seasons, in a wide range of age groups.
Kickball, adult volleyball and karate.
Gymnastics, dance, cheer and combo classes for beginners and intermediates. These include, babynastics, gymnastics, tumbling/cheerleading and jazz/hiphop/drill. Monthly classes include line dancing, Tae Kwon Do, Zumba and yoga/pilates.
These are just a few of the activities offered by Lufkin’s Parks & Recreation Department. The department also handles rentals for the Chambers Park and Brandon Park community centers, reservations for the pavilions at all of Lufkin’s parks, the spray pads at city parks and Jones Pool.
That’s why we’re thrilled the Lufkin City Council approved the first round of resolutions to buy the former Calvary Baptist Church Family Life center.
The center, at 516 Montrose St., will be used to expand the Parks & Recreation facilities, city manager Keith Wright said.
“It will expand our capability of providing services to citizens,” he said. “We’re limited where we’re at now. … It was purposefully built for the type of activities we want to have and it’s the final step in the 2005 master plan. It was the only thing we have left.”
The building is much larger than the current Parks & Rec facility. It includes a full-service kitchen, a full-size gym, several activity rooms, classrooms and office space, making it ideal for the city’s expansion. The city hasn’t determined pricing for any of the activities or gym use, but will be working with the Parks & Recreation board to determine how best they will make it accessible.
Building a new facility could cost more than $2.3 million, according to Wright. That makes the $850,000 price tag seem like a bargain, even if the city has to spend a little additional money to run a fiber internet system and phone lines to the building, as well as make some minor repairs and change the signage.
Two other things of note, according to Wright: If the council approves the purchase, the city would be getting the building for less than its appraised value. Also, the current facility could be sold once the move is complete.
“I hope people get excited about it and can see the big picture, and see what the city can do,” he said. “We want to make this available to as many people as possible.
“I think this is a tangible thing we can do for the community that is different from just a new road. This is something they can touch and be a part of.”
And while it doesn’t completely solve the issue of finding things for the youth in Angelina County to do, it does represent a step in that direction.