The Culpeper County Parks and Recreation Department hopes to receive approval to construct a $3.7 million fieldhouse near the playing fields and playgrounds on Competition Drive.
Andrew Hardy, parks and recreation’s director, recently presented a preliminary proposal to the county’s Building and Grounds Committee. He explained that the 16,900-square-foot facility would include three basketball courts, three pickleball courts, one volleyball court and office space for the department’s staff.
Additionally, the proposed complex would feature an aerobics studio that could host Zumba, tai chi and karate classes. Also included in the plans are multiple classrooms that Hardy said could host parks and recreation, community and civic events. If necessary, there is room for future expansion.
Hardy cited the county’s growth in describing the need for such a facility, as the population has increased by about 12% since 2010. Growth forecasts predict the county will have 60,000 residents by 2030 and 68,000 residents by 2040.
Monetary figures Hardy presented included about $186,600 in projected annual revenue and about $107,000 in projected expenses.
Even if the facility just broke even, committee member and supervisors Chairman Gary Deal explained the fieldhouse’s purpose would be ensuring equal access to recreational activities to everyone opposed to making money. This is needed, as he said there is not a lot of available spaces for youth teams to practice.
Still, Deal noted that the opportunity to host tournaments could perpetuate economic development by providing visitors who would eat locally and stay in hotels.
Many of the programs the facility would host, Supervisor Paul Bates noted, are already implemented at locations for which the county pays rent totaling over $17,000.
The facility would fit in with parks and recreations’ mission, which Hardy explained is enhancing “the quality of life, assuring the sense of community and providing leisure services to county citizens of all ages.”
Hardy said the department is seeking capital improvement money from the county to support the project because the community needs a publicly operated multi-sport and program facility with capabilities to host and plan a multitude of diverse lifestyle activities that improve residents’ quality of life. The facilities primary objectives, he said, are:
Providing a location in which parks and recreation can organize, develop and properly market various recreation programs and activities.
Sponsoring or supporting various community events and agencies.
Building brand awareness and public trust for parks and recreations and its operations.
Consolidating current department programming to improve coordination and service levels.
Improving and increasing community engagement and interaction by positioning the department and its services in a centralized high-traffic location.
Managing and operating a venue in which residents can gather and engage in recreation and leisure opportunities to improve their quality of life.
After hearing the presentation, the Building and Grounds Committee forwarded the matter to the full Board of Supervisors for consideration without a recommendation.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the facility's square footage. The Culpeper Times apologizes for the error.