Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
12:01 pm EDT
Sunday, October 25, 2020

First Responders Recreation Center taking shape in Villages’ north end

the-villages-signResidents of The Villages have an opportunity to shape the design of a new recreation center in the northern end of the community.

In September 2018, The Villages’ district administration completed a long-negotiated acquisition of the First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall property south off County Road 42 and west of Buena Vista Boulevard. The $2 million purchase included about 19 acres and a 9,154-square-foot building that will be repurposed as the First Responders Recreation Center.

Residents may provide input on the conceptual plans for this project through Friday Aug. 23, by email at, according to an administration newsletter. The plans and other information are posted at and accessible via a quick link titled “First Responders Recreation Center.”

The external site plan includes a pool, putt and play golf course, beach volleyball and/or tennis courts, platform tennis courts, lawn bowling/croquet greens, walking trail, corn toss, a multi-purpose area, and pavilions and patios.villages-recreation-center-interior-site-plan

The proposed interior includes rooms for multipurpose activities, cards, games, kilns, reading and computers, and arts and crafts, along with a kitchen.

These plans are based on property configuration, programming, operations, and resident input gathered from a survey in January-February. To view the survey results, visit

Administration staff will work with the design and planning team to review residents’ additional suggestions from Aug. 26-Sept. 6.

A public meeting to review the conceptual site plans is scheduled from 2-5pm Sept. 24, at Savannah Recreation Center, 1545 Buena Vista Blvd. All resident suggestions will be reviewed along with other factors (costs, space, programming, etc.) that will be taken into consideration to achieve the best use of the location, the newsletter states.

The theme of the recreation center honors past and current first responders. Staff is receiving inquiries concerning memorabilia donations to the First Responders Recreation Center and will develop a formal plan at a future date to advertise, promote, and receive donations.