Southlake — The city plans to break ground for the Community Recreation Center’s first phase in August, but city leaders would like to see plans for an outdoor restroom facility included.The City Council approved the Center’s site plan at Bicentennial Park at the June 3 meeting (6-0-1), with the caveat that city staff look at the possibility of including an outdoor restroom to the project’s early stage.“We're spending a lot of money on this,” Councilwoman Carolyn Morris said. “We can't not have adequate restroom facilities, even for Phase 1.” The project’s first phase, which is fully funded, will include a new home for the Senior Center, community meeting space, an outdoor amphitheater and more. In the plans, the amphitheater would have an attached single-occupancy restroom.While council members envision a grand future for the amphitheater as a concert venue, they worried the plan for a small restroom to be supplemented with portable toilets when necessary was inadequate.Mayor John Terrell said people would not want to have to get up in front of an audience to use the restroom in a middle of a show.Parks Director Chris Tribble said city staff will look at additional screening and developing separate restrooms to present to Council in August. He added that there are plans to add restrooms in the center’s possible phase two. To fund the second-half of the center, the city will have residents vote in May if they would approve using a portion of sales tax to fund the remainder of the $46.5 million project.He also told the Council that when staff previously looked at a possible outdoor restroom, costs were around $800,000 to $900,000.The amphitheater would seat 300 to match the same number in the planned events hall. Tribble said that seating, plus lawn space at the amphitheater could handle up to 2,500 people.Phase two of the center would include fitness, child care and aquatic uses.Tribble plans to return to Council in August with the guaranteed maximum price in Aug. 19 and break ground on the project in the last week of August. He said staff could come back with plans on Aug. 3.“I think people are really going to enjoy coming out to this location with top-notch facilities,” Terrell said.After expressing concerns about the center’s ability to generate revenue, Councilman Shahid Shafi abstained.
Dustin L. Dangli, 817-390-7770 Twitter: @dustindangli