After the Broughton Leisure Center closed in June for major renovations, work is continuing on time and on budget, according to Longview Parks and Recreation Manager Scott Caron.
Renovations include work at the entrance, construction of an additional gymnasium, additional parking and updates to current facilities. Broughton Park will have an extended trail, improved basketball courts and a plaza to host outdoor events.
“It’s about 60% complete at this point,” Caron said of the $5.7 million project that is part of the voter-approved 2018 bond package. “RLM (general contractors) are making great progress and we expect them to complete construction in late summer/early fall. After that, we will have time to move furniture, fixtures and equipment.
The Broughton Recreation Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard was originally built in 1978 at a cost of $388,000 on a 19-acre site which was then known as Sixteenth Street Park. The 14.50 square foot indoor facility contained classrooms, a darkroom, a kiln room for ceramics, a games room, a kitchen and offices as well as the gymnasium.
Over the years, the popular community center has served as a polling place, housed a library extension, provided space for public meetings and been a place to learn everything from disco dancing to French cuisine – it even hosted a few performances of the “Longview Opry.”
Caron said that at this stage windows have been installed in the meeting rooms; the roof has been replaced; electrical, plumbing and HVAC have been installed; and the walls were framed on the original windowless structure. The new addition’s concrete floors were poured, its walls erected, and workers began running the electrical and HVAC.
Outside the building, workers leveled the new parking lot and installed the stormwater impoundment, Caron said. The boardwalk sidewalks were poured and the base was put in place for the extension of the walking path.
“These improvements will enhance everything that has happened here in the past and provide our residents with greater opportunities to have a place to improve their health and well-being, recreate, learn, socialize and celebrate,” said he declared.
Caron said the renovated facility, with its expanded fitness space and library services, will be a welcoming place for all Longview residents and, he hopes, a catalyst project.
“We have to thank our community for this by trusting us in endorsing bond funds,” he said. “The reward is that we get additional indoor and outdoor space for programming and gatherings. I think once our residents see the facility and experience it, they will know that we have their best interests at heart.