03/27/06 — City tags mony for recreation center

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City tags mony for recreation center

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on March 27, 2006 1:50 PM

Goldsboro City Council has set aside the first money necessary to start work on a proposed new recreation center for the city.

Recreation and Parks Director Neil Bartlett asked council members Monday to transfer $10,000 from the city's general fund into his department's budget. The money will be used to cover costs associated with construction of Goldsboro's new recreation center.

Bartlett said the $10,000 will finance a comprehensive survey of city-owned property officials hope to use for the facility -- between Spruce and Elm streets at the south end of Center Street.

"Our architects finished their pre-design phase last week," he said. "In order for them to proceed with the schematic design phase of the project, a comprehensive survey of the subject property is needed."

Bartlett added that the survey is the only step left before the schematic design is drawn and construction begins.

Council members voted unanimously to transfer the money for the survey, which will be completed by Bobby Rex Kornegay Land Surveying and Engineering Inc.

But council held off on discussions about another phase of the recreation center project.

The item involved financing the schematic design -- an undertaking priced at more than $526,000. The figure, based on a projected project cost of more than $10 million, seemed high to some council members, who agreed to wait until their first meeting in April to continue discussions and hold a vote on the matter.

Council member Chuck Allen said he believes the project will be an asset to Goldsboro.

"This is going to be a really great thing for downtown," he said.

In May 2004, fire destroyed the Wayne County Memorial Community Building, which had been operating as the city's recreation center by the Recreation and Parks Department.

After the blaze, council established a committee to oversee a reconstruction effort.

Members of the committee include City Manager Joe Huffman, City Council members Chuck Allen, Jackie Warrick and Charles Williams, Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp. executive director Julie Thomspon, YMCA director John Richards, Carroll Overton, Jim Myers, Mary McEachern and Bartlett.

By December of last year, the group had retained the architectural firm Pearce, Brinkley, Cease and Lee to work on plans for a replacement building.