Take a Peek at New Highland Rec; Grand Opening Sunday in Largo

The $17 million facility offers state-of-the-art equipment, interactive games and plenty of fun features for kids and families.

Stepping inside the new Highland Recreation Complex facility in Largo is like entering a Sunshine State theme park: lights flash, colors pop and amazing features abound everywhere you look.

Some of these features include: a three-story indoor play center; two gyms; a fitness room containing state-of-the-art equipment; an indoor running track; and an active "exergaming" room that combines fun with exercise. 

But for all the modern, high-tech marvels in the 40,000-square-foot building, one of the coolest features might be the simplest — a metal slide that allows for speedy travel from the second floor of the building to the bottom.

“I really never thought we’d get everything we want,” Largo Parks, Recreation and Arts director Joan Byrd said of the facility. “I mean, even this slide? I wanted this. This was my baby. I said it’s got to be fun for everybody, so how about a slide?

“So we got everything we wanted and the slide, too.”

Indeed, touring the facility prior to its grand opening to the public this Sunday, it’s easy to see why Byrd, the city staff and the build team at Creative Contractors are so pleased with the final results of the project.

The entire complex was designed with fun and family in mind, from the remodeled pool area and the outdoor basketball courts to the large fitness rooms and full service day care center.

Byrd believes the complex will see an immediate increase in membership because it now offers more ways for families to have fun while staying active. 

“I want this to be a place where a family can come, all different ages, generations, and they can spend a day and not spend a fortune,” she said. “Just have fun and get a lot of exercise doing it.” 

“That was our goal, to have a lot of different things for people to do, and I think we've accomplished that. I’m really excited.”

If You Go: Highland Rec Grand Opening

  • When: Sunday, June 2, from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Where: 400 Highland Ave., Largo
  • Details: The grand opening will allow visitors to tour the new facility and learn about registering for programs, camps and memberships.
  • Cost: Free
  • Info: Phone: 727-518-3016; www.playlargo.com


  • Officials Break Ground on New Highland Rec Complex
  • Construction Starts on New Highland Recreation Complex
  • Construction Continues At Highland Recreation Complex
  • New Highland Recreation Complex on Track
  • Photos: Inside Tour of Highland Recreation Under Construction
  • Photos: Steel Swings into Place for New Highland Recreation Complex
  • High Tech Game Room Planned for New Highland Recreation Complex
  • New Highland Recreation Complex Receives Award Before Its Built
  • Highland Rec Grand Opening Is June 2nd

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Jennifer Compton May 30, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I wish the city put half the money in our police department. Turning a blind eye to the crime in largo won't make it go away nor will million dollar parks. We're the only city in pinellas who's park and recreation budget is higher over anything else.
Melissa Arndt May 30, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Jennifer, recreation centers curb crime; it's a fact. The skatepark..this rec center...other parks and the activities that Largo puts on gives kids, teens, and families things to do with their time. It's a no brainer.
Leroy A Haggard May 30, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Unfortunately for those who can no longer drive due to age and have to rely on the PSTA, the new REC does not do much good. From where the bus stops, a mile walk to the Rec is required. Two miles round trip walking is more than I am able to handle. I am sure there are others who face the same problems. By cab, it would be close to $30 round trip from Ulmerton Rd and Seminole Blvd. This is not un-common in the Largo area. so be it


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