TOPEKA, KAN. – A 1 p.m. Oct. 5 ribbon cutting ceremony is set for the dedication of the remodeled main entrance and lobby of Hillcrest Community Center. The project is the capstone to a several-year project to update Hillcrest Community Park. Speakers include Shawnee County Commissioner Kevin Cook and Shawnee County Parks + Recreation Director Tim Laurent.
Hillcrest is the first of SCP+R’s community parks to be updated.
“Hillcrest is a classic community park,” notes Laurent. “Come here any weekend and this park and community center are packed with people playing sports, holding meetings in meeting rooms, playing games in the community center or just hanging out with friends. This is a true center for the community.”
The remodeling includes a new centralized main entrance to the community center. The reception desk is centered in the lobby with a direct line of sight to the main entrance and a 360 view of the lobby area. Walls have been opened to create a café-like space for the public computer lab in the southwest corner of the lobby area. The ceiling features a stylishly painted grid and new banks of lights. The walls and a new floor now feature SCP+R’s brand colors of blue, green and orange.
Improvements to the park since 2017 include the addition of the community’s first outdoor fitness equipment, the community’s first Futsal courts, multiple improvements to Hillcrest Pool, new playground equipment and safety surface and new LED security lighting in the parking lot. The gymnasium has new LED lighting and newly painted walls. The gym floor will be refinished under a grant-funded project from Kansas State University Athletics Powercat Health program with funding from Stormont-Vail Health, the Kansas Health Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.
In addition to hosting sports leagues and recreational sports Hillcrest Community Center serves as a satellite location for the Shawnee County Health Department’s WIC program, a Silverbacks meal site and has served as a summer meal location for USD 501.
Shawnee County Parks + Recreation includes nearly 60 miles of trails, 2,625 acres of parks and 320 annual days of sporting activities. In addition, the department offers recreation programs, educational programs and golf. A combination of tax dollars, user fees and private donations enables Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to offer parks, sporting and aquatic facilities with state-of-the-art features, and beautiful, nationally recognized gardens.