Advertisement

Delay in completion of recreation center leads to cancellation of summer camps

April 16, 2013|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com
  • Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Executive Director Steve Catlett
Submitted photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Delays in completing Berkeley County’s public recreation center in Inwood, W.Va., have prompted officials to nix a plan to hold summer camps for children there this year.

Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Executive Director Steve Catlett said Tuesday that uncertainty about when the W. Randy Smith Recreation Center will be completed factored into the decision to  postpone until 2014 the launch of the camps at the center.

Catlett said officials decided to make the announcement the month before people registered for the Berkeley Summer Energy & Explorer Camps at the new $2.1 million facility.

An average of more than 60 children per week took part in what was a 10-week camp program last year at the Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center in Martinsburg, Catlett said.

The program was to be duplicated and held at both recreation centers this summer, Catlett said.

Catlett said an idea that was considered called for use of Berkeley County school facilities for a portion of the camp program schedule until the Inwood site opened, but there were concerns about having the school facilities ready for the new school year.

Recreation officials initially hoped the new recreation center on the campus of Musselman High School would be done over this past winter and open this spring.

Change orders, along with delays in the delivery of steel for the structure, have pushed the expected completion past a mid-June opening date and closer to the start of fall programming, Catlett said.

“It’s been a difficult building to build,” said Catlett, who hesitated to give a new estimated completion date. “It’s been a challenge.”

Martinsburg-based W. Harley Miller Contractors Inc. was awarded the project in April 2012 after submitting a $2.159 million bid to build the 18,200-square-foot facility.

Two contributions totaling $2.1 million by Smith, a Powerball jackpot winner and former Berkeley County sheriff, allowed the project to move forward last spring. Catlett said fundraising efforts are continuing to pay for the project. The board started with an initial $59,000 funding gap for the contract, and also has tried to raise money to fully equip and furnish the new recreation facility.

Donors of $5,000 or more can have a sponsorship sign placed in the facility in perpetuity, Catlett said.

“We could still use a few (donations). We’re getting closer,” he said.

In other business Tuesday, Catlett said recent across-the-board federal budget cuts resulted in the loss of military bands that were slated to perform as part of the annual summer concert series at War Memorial Park in Martinsburg.

Due to sequestration, the bands have been limited to a travel radius of 50 miles, and Martinsburg is beyond that distance, Catlett said.

Catlett said efforts are being made to find new performers.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|