Rec center location

The Kernersville Board of Aldermen has instructed staff to look into the feasibility of relocating the site for a new recreation center to a corner of property recently purchased by the Town.
Last week, the Board unanimously approved spending $6 million to purchase two tracts of land totaling approximately 65 acres, all of which will become part of the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex. The property begins at the intersection of Union Cross and Shields roads and then travels eastward along Shields Road and across Beeson Road, ending at the Tredegar subdivision.
Following the vote to purchase the property, Town Manager Curtis Swisher talked about the location of the new recreation center, asking Board members for a vote on the matter.
“The recreation center that has been approved is currently proposed to go at the corner of Beeson Road and Shields Road. If the Board would like to possibly look into the feasibility of relocating that recreation center to the corner or the intersection of Union Cross and Shields Road, so basically, when you’re coming into town on Union Cross Road you will see that before you see the Kernersville sign, if you vote to give us authority to look at that, then we will start that process,” Swisher said.
Swisher said staff would then report back to the Board as far as the proposal’s feasibility.
“We don’t know what’s involved as far as grading or any of that, but if the Board would like to look at doing that, we will have our contractor check on that,” Swisher said.
Plans have been in the works to construct the new recreation center for several years, with the Kernersville Parks & Recreation Department conducting community input meetings about the project in 2019 and then Town staff presenting aldermen with the conceptual designs for the project in the fall of 2020. Last year, the Board approved an increase in the cost of the project, with the higher price directly related to rising construction costs nationally.
When originally approved, cost of construction for the new recreation center, which would be located at the corner of Shields and Beeson roads, was estimated at $12.1 million. Last September, Swisher informed the previous Board that if constructed as planned, the increased cost of the project would jump $4.7 million.
If they preferred, the Board could have chosen a scaled back version of the recreation center plan, eliminating a second floor, and adding only $2.7 million to the overall cost of construction. Instead, all five board members at the time voted to fully fund the project’s original design.
The previous Board also approved locating the new recreation center at the corner of Shields and Beeson roads. On older master plans for the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex, a new recreational facility had been situated further inside the park property, but aldermen agreed that the more visible site along Shields Road was a better location.
The same sentiment appeared to drive last week’s direction of staff to look at the possibility of moving the site of the new recreation center to the intersection of Union Cross and Shields roads, a location that several aldermen described as the gateway to Kernersville.
Alderman John Barrow made the motion for staff to look into the feasibility of relocating the recreation center, with a second from Alderman Joe Pinnix. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Apple and Aldermen J.R. Gorham and Chris Thompson voted in support.

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