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Lakeland community building, residential plans advance

This rendering of the Lakeland community building shows design elements such as canopies and mural walls. (TCD)

Tribal Community Development (TCD) officials continue to move forward on construction plans for a community building on the Seminole Tribe’s Lakeland Reservation. In addition, phase two of homebuilding is underway at the site.

TCD’s director of construction management, Ricardo Rivera, told the Seminole Tribune in early January that four of the companies that went through the request for proposals (RFP) process recently gave presentations in Tampa.

“All four are extremely qualified candidates,” Rivera said. “It’s good to see so many qualified vendors that want the job. Now the selection committee choses.”

The community building is expected to be a one-story, 35,351-square-foot structure on an almost 3-acre site. For comparison, the Howard Tiger Recreation Center on the Hollywood Reservation is about 39,000 square feet.

The building’s amenities are to include a gymnasium, basketball court, exercise room, game room and an outdoor swimming pool, as well as administrative offices. There are spaces to be dedicated to the Culture program, which includes a teaching kitchen. The structure is being built to withstand a Category 4 hurricane and can be used as a shelter during storms.

Rivera said once the selected company is notified, a formal quote is requested. Once finalized, design work and site preparation would begin. Rivera said there’s no firm timeline on construction, but work would likely begin sometime this year.

In the meantime, phase two of homebuilding is underway.

“Phase two infrastructure is in punch list phase with the first lift of asphalt in place, street lighting installed, and the majority of grading complete,” TCD’s James Rabideau said.

A punch list phase refers to final aspects of a particular construction phase nearing completion.

Rabideau said 19 homes are under construction, with completion of phase two’s first rental homes anticipated in May. In all, phase two will consist of 26 single-family homes – 20 rentals, five for sale and one to be used by the Seminole Police Department.

Rabideau said the tribe’s Housing Department has been working on contracts with tribal members for the homes that will be available for sale. Construction on those homes is expected to begin in March, contingent on permitting, he said.

Phase one of homebuilding consisted of 46 single-family homes on 1-acre lots. Once all phases are completed, the reservation would have a mix of about 150 single-family homes for rent and for sale on 1-acre lots.

The Lakeland Reservation sits on approximately 792 acres, located north of Old Polk City Road and east of Moore Road, about 37 miles east of Tampa.

Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at