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Community Center to open soon

The Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority’s new Community Center should be complete by mid-January with a ribbon cutting planned for Friday, Feb. 3. Work started on the project in February 2022 to enclose the recreation department’s open soccer pavilion and create a Community Center. The new building will have one large activity room with a small kitchen for rental, two multi-purpose activity rooms for programs and classes, a conference meeting room, storage space, two offices for recreation staff and a front lobby with a receptionist desk.

“The Community Center will be used for programs like aerobics, yoga, karate, boot camp, line dancing, arts and crafts classes and music classes,” said PCPRA director Larry Moss. “It will also be used for recreation board and coaches meetings, events such as family reunions, birthday parties, the annual Father/Daughter Dance, e-sports programs, sports registration and Summer Day Camp.”

Moss said there were some supply chain shortages that caused slight delays during the construction process but the last issues to be handled include landscaping and striping the parking lot.

“There will be approximately 80 new paved parking spaces, including handicap parking, with vehicle turnaround in front of the community center providing greater accessibility to the soccer amenities,” he said.

Moss said PCPRA is seeking grants to help with Phase 2 and the other upcoming phases of construction outlined in the Park Master Plan. The first of the five phases of the plan includes the construction of the Community Center and soccer complex upgrades. Phase 2 of the plan will include softball complex upgrades. Phase 3 will see the creation of a Community Park. Phase 4 will include baseball complex upgrades. Phase 5 will see the creation of an Adult Recreation Complex.

“The Rec Department is the watering hole of our community. Everyone celebrates and cheers there, creating friends and memories that last for lifetimes. The Rec Department offers the opportunity to maintain healthy lifestyles, mentally and physically,” said PCPRA board chairman Chris Childress.
More than 758 young athletes signed up for spring baseball and softball last year and the recreation authority expects to see growth in other areas as new sports and programs are added. The 10-year Master Plan was created by Root Design Studio after months of surveying local leaders and citizens and showed several shortcomings according to the National Recreation and Park Association’s Agency’s recommendations.

“These improvements are critical since we cannot hold USSSA tournaments until more fields are built, handicapping our park’s ability to be included in tournament ball circuits. Having a tournament-ready park would provide more opportunity for our kids and would have a significant economic impact on our community,” said PCPRA chairman Chris Childress. “As PCPRA Chair and a baseball and softball coach for over a decade, I know the park is a place where kids become good citizens. Having been the juvenile public defender in several counties, including Pike, I have rarely represented a child who had a background in youth sports. In my experience, a child’s involvement in youth sports translates into less of a likelihood of delinquent behavior.”

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