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Berkeley County recreation center addition to be done next month

November 25, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - The second of three additions to the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center in Martinsburg will be done next month, but plans for an indoor aquatic center still are very much in the preliminary stages, said Steve Catlett, executive director of Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board.

On Dec. 5, Quad/Graphics, the largest private employer in Berkeley County, is expected to take part in the dedication of a 5,400-square-foot multipurpose wing that the Sussex, Wis.-based company's philanthropic arm helped finance with a $500,000 gift announced in February.

Catlett hopes contractors are able to finish work on the second wing, a 12,600-square-foot addition for the county's gymnastics program, before the dedication of The Quad/Graphics Gymnasium.

"If all goes well, we'll be in that on Dec. 3," Catlett said last week.

Padding for pits, and installation of a spring floor, tumble track and other amenities were expected to begin this week, Catlett said. Fire/emergency systems also needed to be activated, and support areas, including restrooms, still are under construction, he said.

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The third wing of the recreation center likely will remain in an "empty shell" form until late fall or early winter of 2008, Catlett said.

Envisioned to be a fitness center, the addition is expected to provide adults a recreation option while their children are participating in activities elsewhere in the Lambert Park complex off Woodbury Avenue.

"We'll have to see how it goes," Catlett said.

As for the aquatic center, Catlett said a preliminary design that has been completed features three pools - therapeutic, leisure and competition - to cater to all ages.

The aquatic center was designed to be an addition to the south wing of the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center, and Catlett said cost estimates ranged between $8 million and $10 million.

Catlett said he has been trying to schedule a meeting between the Berkeley County Board of Education, Berkeley County Commission and City of Martinsburg to discuss funding options. The three government entities each appoint three members to the Parks & Recreation Board.

"There's no question it would benefit a wide range of individuals," Catlett said of the aquatic center project.

With the expanded facilities under way, the Parks & Recreation Board also expanded parking by 201 spaces earlier this year, Catlett said. Officials also were able to add an additional entrance to Lambert Park from Athletic Street in conjunction with a safety improvement project at North Middle School, which neighbors Lambert Park.

The new entrance is gated during the school day, Catlett said.

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