Largo Mayor Pat Gerard, city commissioners and parks department officials gathered at the Highland Rec Center on Tuesday afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility that is being built on the site.
And with a toss of seven shovelfuls of dirt from a rectangular plot of soil, the countdown to the completion of the $17 million project began.
"I'm extremely excited. The whole process has been exciting," Largo recreation program manager Krista Pincine said. "I can't believe it's finally happening."
The 40,000-sq. ft. facility, which will feature an indoor running track, a 3-story indoor playground, basketball courts and more, should be ready for public use by June of 2013.
"Our goal was to build a facility where the whole family can spend the day, get fit and have fun," Parks, Recreation and Arts director Joan Byrd said. "There will definitely be something for everyone at the new Highland Recreation Complex."
Combine the exterior improvements with the state-of-the-art indoor amenities, such as an electronic exercise room that allows people to get fit while having fun, and you have a complex that should draw people from all over, according to officials.
"This is going to be the most spectacular recreation center in all of Florida," Byrne said. "It's going to be a real jewel, not just for Largo, but for the whole area."
Mayor Gerard agreed. "It's going to be the best facility in the area," she said. "I can't wait to see it."