Salvatore Ambrosino

The Lake Crago Outdoor Recreation Complex opened on Sept. 28, housing classrooms, rental venues, an educational amphitheater and Lakeland’s first public kayaking and canoeing facilities. 

The facility sits on Lake Crago next to the old dog park and connects to Lake Parker by a thin canal headed south, traversable by kayak. The $7 million recreational project has been in the works since April 2018. 

The Lake Crago building has its parts up for rent: reservations can be made for its banquet venue, classrooms, activity room, amphitheater and covered patio. 

“You can also rent the whole facility if you want, for a decent price,” Recreation Supervisor Jared Freeman said. ‘There’s a bunch of different options.” 

The facility is currently open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s still not finalized when the kayak and canoe vendor will be installed. 

“I’d hate to be on the record saying two or three weeks, but he should be here then,” Freeman said. 

Liberty Kayaks looks to install its boat vendor into the facility at some point in the near future. Then people will be able to rent kayaks at an hourly rate, or to use for an entire day. 

“We are going to be having yoga, Zumba, senior fitness and even hosting corporate events,” Freeman said. 

Taking up .6 acres, consisting of a low dock and boat ramp, as well as a patio area and a small amphitheater, the rec center will be following Lakeland’s previously established COVID-19 guidelines, despite Desantis’ move to phase 3.

All people in the building will be required to wear a mask, unless seated, stationary and able to socially distance 6 feet or greater from their fellow patrons. To ensure social distancing, maximum occupancy has been reduced to 50 percent until further notice.

A wellness check will also be done on people entering the facility, a body temperature measurement of 100.4 degrees or above will prevent people from entering. 

Bathrooms will close several times a day for deep cleaning. Classes will be limited to nine people per, and any equipment used will be thoroughly disinfected. 

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