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Whiteville Rec Center closing for repairs, renovations

By Jefferson Weaver jeffersonweaver@nrcolumbus.com

The Recreation Center at Whiteville’s Nolan Park will soon have an entirely new look.

The Whiteville Parks and Recreation Center will be closed beginning Monday (today) so repairs and renovations can get underway, according to City Manager Darren Currie.

In an announcement on the city website, Director Blake Spivey said a new fl oor will be installed in the gym, the walls will be painted and the roof replaced.

Workers with the department have warned of serious roof problems in the Nolan Park gym for several years. Hurricane Matthew did extensive damage to the building, Currie said.

“We had rain just about everywhere in there, and the floors were damaged,” Currie explained. “The building needed some attention, and now it’s going to get it.”

The building is used for most of the department’s indoor events, including freeplay and organized basketball leagues, Zumba classes and other activities.

Currie said a combination of insurance and disaster relief funds will help finance the $150,000 plus project. Work will start with the office area, then progress to the floors and roof. The entire facility will also be repainted.

Parks and Rec offices are still operating as normal, but are temporarily quartered at the interim City Hall.

“You can still call or email, and get the Parks staff,” Currie said.

The timing on the project was important, Currie said.

“This is when we usually have a little bit of a slow down,” he said. “Football will be gearing up in a few weeks, and the kids are going back to school. We didn’t want to affect the freeplay times or the other activities of the summer.”

The center is also available for rentals, Currie said, and staff be gan blanking out the proposed dates of the renovations to avoid conflicts.

 “We encourage people to use the facilities – they pay for t h e m w i t h their tax dollars,” Currie said. The multi-purpose room and offices will be repaired, then the main gymnasium project will start, Currie said.

The city plans to use a new high-tech flooring product to replace the worn rubber floor covering.

“The water got up underneath that rubber mat, and the adhesive failed,” Currie said. “Right now it’s not safe to play on – it’s like a washboard in some places.

“Blake (Spivey, the director) found this product, and he has checked it out. It can be repaired a lot easier if need be, and it’s a better choice for the variety of activities we have at the rec center. I think it’ll be a good thing.”

Currie said the Zumba exercise classes and a few other programs have been put on hiatus while the project is completed. He expects the work to last six to eight weeks.

“As soon as we can, the offices will be moved back out there to help our residents,” he said. Whiteville recently completed a million-dollar enhancement of the main recreation park, using a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Grant.

For more information, contact the Parks and Rec department at 642-9052. The department is closed Fridays.

Stuart Rogers