12/28/11 — Word on Foster could come soon

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Word on Foster could come soon

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on December 28, 2011 1:46 PM

A week after a contractor suggested that the W.A. Foster Recreation Center on South Leslie Street be closed due to asbestos concerns, Goldsboro officials will learn the fate of the facility after two visits from contractors Tuesday and today.

The center was closed indefinitely Dec. 21 at about 3 p.m., but assessments this week will determine if the facility can reopen or if a months-long asbestos removal project will be required.

In the meantime, Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard said Tuesday that programs, such as a basketball skills camp scheduled for today through Friday, will be run as space for them is found. Officials at First Presbyterian Church, which sits just a block away from Herman Park Center on Ash Street, have said they will host the skills camp for ages 5 to 15, which runs from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. all three days, in their gymnasium.

Basketball leagues run through the department will also continue, Barnard said, as Parks and Recreation partners with the Goldsboro YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base with its leagues. Practices and games have typically been held at those venues as well as in school gymnasiums, he said, although W.A. Foster was the only facility where the department had complete scheduling authority. The demographic of patrons who will be hurt the most, he said, are those who take advantage of pickup games.

"That is the draw to Foster," Barnard said. "The ability to come in and play basketball. And we don't have any other alternative place for open gym."