Lewisville delays opening of new rec center

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A digital rendering of Thrive Lewisville (photo courtesy of the city of Lewisville).

The city of Lewisville is delaying the grand opening of its new recreation center, Thrive, by about four months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The grand opening for Thrive — the city’s new 87,000-square-foot multigenerational facility located at 1950 South Valley Parkway — was originally scheduled for May 30 but has been postponed until early October, according to a news release from the city. Construction is continuing and is largely on schedule, with only a few minor delays due to the current public health emergency. Work is expected to be completed in May.

“We know there is tremendous excitement in the community about Thrive, and we want to open as soon as we can,” said Mayor Rudy Durham. “Our top priority has to be the safety and wellbeing of our residents, visitors, and staff during this unprecedented time. That, combined with serious financial challenges that still are not fully known, will delay us but won’t stop us from giving residents the multigenerational recreation center that they want and deserve.”

Thrive will feature a natatorium, gymnasiums, an indoor walking track, expanded fitness area, community rooms, indoor playground and more than 14,000 square feet of space dedicated to activities for senior adults. It also will feature a permanent public art component that flows naturally through the building.

Uncertainty about how long the current state and county emergency stay-at-home orders will last and concerns about a dramatic drop in city revenue due to temporary business closures prevent the city from hiring the employees needed to open and operate the center, according to the city. Thrive is being built with money approved by voters in a November 2015 bond election, but operations will primarily be paid with a combination of user fees and tax revenue.

The current fiscal year budget is currently under review by city officials as they monitor large declines in retail sales tax, hotel occupancy tax, and other revenue sources. Herring Recreation Center will remain closed indefinitely so staff and operating budget for that facility can be reallocated to support Thrive when it opens. Herring Recreation Center already was slated to close temporarily after Thrive opened to allow for a remodel of that space. Anyone with a paid membership for Herring Rec Center can request a pro-rated refund or upgrade to a Thrive membership.

Thrive was a top priority of the Lewisville 2025 vision plan. In 2015, voters approved Thrive’s construction as part of the largest bond package in Lewisville’s history. Once complete, Thrive will offer more than 100 hours of play and exercise a week. Annual memberships are now available for purchase. Prices range from $25 to $210 a year for an individual. Family and corporate rates also are available. Memberships can be purchased on the new Thrive website. Anyone who has purchased an annual membership to Thrive will still have their membership year start on the grand opening date. In addition, members will have early access to Thrive prior to the grand opening while new employees train on facility operations.

The temporary Senior Activity Center, which was operating in leased space at Music City Mall Lewisville before closing in late March to help protect participants from the early spread of COVID-19, will re-open at the mall after the emergency order is lifted and until Thrive opens. Residents also are invited to participate in the city’s virtual recreation center on the playlewisville.com website and engage with recreation staff on the department’s social media accounts.

For future updates on Thrive, visit playlewisville.com.

About The Author

Mark Smith

Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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