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Ground to be broken for community center

November 14, 2005|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A groundbreaking ceremony is set for today for a community center that is designed to give the Jefferson County parks and recreation system the space it needs for its programs.

County officials are expected to break ground on the building at Sam Michaels Park at 11 a.m., Jefferson County Commission member Dale Manuel said.

Parks and Recreation Commission officials have said the community center is needed because they do not have an indoor facility for their programs, which forces the commission to rent space for its classes.

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And even then, some parents have to take their children to other nearby cities because of limited space for classes like gymnastics, parks officials have said.

The community center at Sam Michaels Park, which is north of Charles Town off Job Corps Road, will have two indoor basketball courts, Manuel said.

The activity rooms in the building will not only allow the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission to offer its programs, but will be available for outside groups, such as Boy Scouts and 4-H clubs, Manuel said.

A group also might want to use the activity rooms to run exercise programs for older people, Manuel said.

"Hopefully, it will be used by a cross-section of the community," Manuel said Sunday.

The county commission had decided to pay up to $2.2 million for the center but learned recently that it will cost nearly $2.8 million to build it.

Part of the cost increase is due to soft ground at the site, Commission member Greg Corliss said. There will be increased costs because of foundation modifications to deal with the ground, Corliss said.

Parks and recreation officials say they need the building to offer classes in gymnastics, arts and crafts, dance and fitness, cooking, and to run sports camps.

The building also will include office space for the Jefferson County Parks and Recreation Commission and storage space.

Manuel said he is not sure how long it will take to build the center. Parks and recreation officials said previously the building would be about 16,940 square feet.

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