Lewisville puts together plan for new community center

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 7, 2019

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

Mayor Mike Horn likes to talk about a sense of community in Lewisville, including the importance of public places such as Shallowford Square and Jack Warren Park where residents can enjoy various events and activities.

And the town is in the process of putting together a plan to add to that mix with a new community center to replace the aging G. Galloway Community Center that only has 3,000 square feet of useable space and is located between the library and Lewisville Elementary School.

“We’ve talked about this for a long time,” Horn said. “Really, the sentiment is we have a community center that is not functioning to meet the needs of the town.”

The town held four public meetings last week in what were called informal presentations from firms on design for a new community center.

“We learned so much in those discussions,” Horn said. “That helped us focus in on the things that we need to be considering as we move forward. “There’s the great saying. I’m sure you’ve heard it. We know what we know. We know what we don’t know. But we don’t know what we don’t know.”
Horn said there is no specific timeline, but that the project will involve a lot community input as the town considers location and what is needed in the new community center.

“We haven’t narrowed down a site, but there are several sites that could be considered,” Horn said. “We are looking at program needs and what the facility footprint might be. We’ve had two community center advisory group meetings (involving Lewisville residents) where we brainstormed what it is that we think we would like to have from a community center program standpoint.

“We’ve taken into consideration Civic Club needs, Scout needs, and the kinds of events and uses that book the Community Center on a regular basis. So we’ve got a pretty good feel of what we want to do going forward.”

Councilman Fred Franklin, who was sitting in on one of the presentations, said: “I think one of the things that we recognize is that in essence we’ve got one shot to get this thing right so we want to proceed very cautiously and as we go down the road when we get to the end of the project and walk in the door that is what we truly desire to have.”

The current building is used for the Lewisville Civic Club, Scouts and other groups, and it is rented for events. There is also a senior exercise facility upstairs.

Horn said that the town is planning to do a capital expenditure of roughly $3.5 million for the project with early projections, depending on cost, calling for the new building to be in the 10,000- to 12,000-square-foot range.

“Mostly it’s programming for fitness, for arts and crafts, for senior services, those kinds of things,” he said. “We don’t want to become a destination meeting place. We want to be able to accommodate groups in town that need a place to meet. The overarching priority is to provide a place that offers a variety of activities and services that will benefit the residents of Lewisville.”

Horn said that community input sessions are on the horizon to get more feedback and commended the community advisory board for identifying many of the kinds of things that should be considered. However, the budget can’t be overlooked.

“Now, that’s all blue sky if we had the all the money in the world and all the time in the world and all the land in the world, here’s what we’d like to do,” he said. “Well, we compiled the list, and it’s a pretty good list, and then we sat down as a council and said, ‘OK, let’s look at this list and prioritize it because we know our money is only going to go so far.’ So the council has done that and will continue to do that. We haven’t made a final decision in the process of doing that.”