K. Lightfoot Center
In 1959, The Omar K. Lightfoot Recreation Center, located at 56th
Drive, was originally designed to
be used as a Youth
skating rink by the Temple Terrace Optimists Club. The property
was donated for this purpose by Omar K. Lightfoot, Sr. a builder
and developer in
After construction started, the Optimists found it difficult to
raise enough public funds to finish the project. The City of Temple
Terrace had no recreation facilities of this type. In 1963
TTWC recognized this need and joined several other
community service organizations, including the Junior Woman’s
Club, to support fund raising events to be used to complete the
building. Several members represented the Club on the Youth
Foundation, Inc. Board to further this endeavor.
Eventually it was necessary to go before the Hillsborough County
Commissioners and request financial aid from the County to
complete the center.
agreed to provide the necessary funds to complete the building
and the City of Temple Terrace became responsible for this
facility. It was completed and dedicated
September 12, 1965. The County did not provide funds to furnish a kitchen so the Club
agreed to plan and furnish a commercial kitchen for this
order to make the building more useful for special events. This
was completed during the year of 1967 at a cost of $2,000.
The building was designated as the headquarters for the City
Recreation Department and the first Director was hired. When the
center opened in 1965 scheduled activities for the citizens of
included classes in physical fitness, painting, bridge, remedial
reading, square dancing and tumbling.
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