Renovations for the Central Park Recreation Center will be moving forward following a decision by the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners at the latest work session on Tuesday, Aug. 9.
At the work session, commissioners approved to award a bid to “provide all labor, materials and equipment” for the project to Cooper & Company General Contractors Inc., in the amount of $7.4 million.
Jim Pryor, director of Forsyth County Parks and Recreation, said the original recreation center was built in two phases and included a main recreational building and what he called “the annex.”
Pryor explained that the Forsyth County Department of Senior Services will be taking over the annex, providing the department with a new “future home” with an updated kitchen and fitness rooms to “better suit their needs.”
He also said the main building will include an additional meeting space, two aerobics rooms and a gymnasium.
“A lot of the recreation side is going to expand, but having both of them together, they’ll be connected where the seniors can use the senior side and the activity side of things,” Pryor said.
District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills said she hoped there would be room for pickleball, because pickleball and basketball players having to share a space.
Pryor said the added gymnasium will provide another space for sports, including pickleball or basketball.
He also said the construction was anticipated to have two phases; one side of the building would be closed at a time in a “flip-flop operation.”
“There’ll be disruption, but we’ll still try to continue operating a segment of a building,” Pryor said. “It’ll be kind of [an] ‘Excuse our mess’ type of thing.”
Regarding the annex and senior services, Assistant County Manager Brandon Kenney said the renovations will provide a “very modern approach” creating a space for senior residents to remain physically active and social.
Pryor agreed and told commissioners that out of all the parks memberships, 41% are held by people age 60 and older.
Commissioners approved the bid with a unanimous vote, 5-0.