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South Berkeley Recreation Center bids to be opened Jan. 31

January 18, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com
  • This is an architect's drawing of the south Berkeley County recreation center planned in Inwood, W.Va., near the Musselman High School complex.
Illustration courtesy of Helbing Lipp Ltd.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Bids for the South Berkeley Recreation Center, a project made possible by Powerball jackpot winner W. Randy Smith, are scheduled to be opened on Jan. 31 after interested contractors asked for more time to submit proposals.

Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board Executive Director Steve Catlett said Tuesday that he still hopes the 18,200-square-foot building designed by Vienna, Va.-based Helbing Lipp Ltd. will be completed and open for use by the end of the year.

Having received interest from 17 general contractors who attended a pre-bid meeting this month, Catlett is hopeful the cost to build the steel metal structure on the campus of Musselman High School will be relatively contained.

The project was jump-started by a $1.5 million commitment last year from Smith through a fund that the former county sheriff and magistrate established with the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation after he won the lottery in August 2010.

The building, to be built on the south side of the high school next to the student parking lot, was designed to allow for future expansions totaling more than 50,000 square feet, Catlett said.

As advertised for bid, the recreation center will feature two gymnasiums and include areas for restrooms, concession, staff and storage.

Catlett said he was particularly pleased with the building design because Helbing Lipp did not make the structure look like "a metal box."

The architect initially proposed that the exterior of the building be blue and yellow, but Catlett said the firm was advised to change the color scheme to match Musselman High's dark green and red school colors.

Outside the building, the school's student parking lot will available for the recreation center because the facility is expected to be busiest after the school day ends, according to Catlett.

Catlett said the facility is expected to be named in honor of Smith, who donated the money because of his grandson's interest in basketball and lack of a place to play near his home in southern Berkeley County. 

The opening of the facility this year would practically coincide with the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center, which opened at Lambert Park in Martinsburg in 2002, according to Catlett.

The indoor recreation center has tripled in size since it opened and now is 48,500 square feet, Catlett said.

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