Recreation Authority trims plans for new rec facility

Published 9:14 am Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The Bainbridge Decatur County Recreation Authority met Thursday, May 19, for their regular meeting. One of the items on the evening’s agenda was the new recreation facility the department has begun planning; specifically, the department discussed cutting things from the final building for now. The reason given at the meeting was due to the rising cost of materials.

Executive director Joel Holmes spoke with the Post-Searchlight about the changes. “We had two full-size basketball courts as part of the plan,” he said. “We’re removing one of the basketball courts.” In addition to this, several meeting rooms will be removed, though Holmes estimated roughly 75% of the original plans would be kept.

“We wanted two courts because we anticipate high usage of the facility when it opens,” he continued. “But even with losing the one basketball court, we’re still going to have our administrative offices, we’ll still have a registration desk, we’ll still have a board room/meeting room, we’ll have several multi-purpose rooms.” Holmes stated that they do still have plans to renovate and add on the second court in the future, with the building designed to naturally accommodate it. “We’re building it to where, it’ll look like it was built to have one court, but it’ll be easy to renovate into two courts…” The department does still plan to offer all of the programs they had intended to offer with two courts in mind.

Again, the rising cost of building materials, as well as market concerns, were the reasons for this. “My knowledge of the subject is, it’s volatile right now,” Holmes said. When asked how long it might take to eventually add on the additional court, he said, “Just, unpredictability, it’s hard to say, but we think it’s a lot safer and a better use of our money to sit back and wait until it’s a more appropriate time to add on that court.” The current estimate for erecting the current facility is a year and-a-half to two years, with PDC Construction handling the building, York & Associates Engineering, Inc. acting as civil engineers, and Darren Blankenship from ArcWorks serving as architect.

“We’re not getting to build exactly the building we wanted to build, but we’re still thrilled with what we have,” Holmes said. “We know what we’re going to build is going to benefit the community,” he continued. “We’re going to be able to offer a lot more programs, different programs, different activities, we’re can do a lot more with senior citizens, and we feel like with an indoor facility, we can offer more programs inside.”