By Heather Wood
Kernersville Parks and Recreation is seeking your input for a Community Recreation Center! Recreation Centers serve as the thriving hub of activity for children, teen and active adults. They provide the public with spaces for community events, safe places for children and teens and programming that promotes mentorship, discipline, healthy habits and teamwork. To ensure a successful Recreation Center plan, we need your input.
In January, our department collected input from our various public engagement sessions. We held input sessions focusing on Athletics, Civic/Non-Profit groups, and Community Service, at our current Recreation Center location. We also invited the general public who may have not fallen into one of these categories to Fire Station 42 to offer their input. If you did not attend one of these events, stop by the Recreation Center at 125 E. Bodenhamer St., Monday-Friday until 8pm through February 8 to drop your ideas in our open kiosk. We value your ideas and want to thank you for making your voice heard!
The need for a Recreation Center spans back to at least 1984. That is the year Fourth of July Park was constructed with intentions of converting an onsite water treatment facility into a recreation center. Feasibility studies for this conversion along with inspections of the water treatment facility indicated that our intentions were too difficult to accomplish. The intention to build a recreation center surfaced again in 1986 when the town completed Civitan Park. Followed in a later plan for a Lindsay Street Park that ultimately became the Public Services Department yard. Then finally in 1996, when the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex (previously named Beeson Park) was planned and constructed. Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex remains the selected site for the Recreation Center, the missing piece of the department’s puzzle. Some may ask, why has 36 years of recognizing a need not been addressed? The truth is the town has faced economic hardships, logistical challenges, other pressing priorities, and the lack of opportunities that have resulted in the lack of constructing a Recreation Center.
Our current Community Recreation Center location at (125 E. Bodenhamer Street) is a leased facility that has served the public well and addressed our citizens needs but it is a temporary plan. We arrived at our current location in 2010, and within six months the growth of programs and activities reached our facilities capacity. Over the last ten years, we have encountered parking issues, ADA accessibility issues, having to pass on program opportunities, rentals, and limited program and athletic offerings.
For instance, one of our popular events, The Father Daughter Dance, has continued to become so successful throughout the years that it has outgrown many locations. Where it once was held in the cafeteria of First Christian Church (150 tickets sold), moved to the large meeting room of the Senior Enrichment Center (300 tickets sold), to our current Recreation Center’s gym (450 tickets sold), and now back at First Christian Church in the main worship hall. Today the event is selling out at 630 tickets in less than a day leaving many on a waiting list, increasing the demand for a larger venue. This is among the many reasons why a Recreation Center is needed.
As we have been collecting input, we have heard that our local church life centers and YMCA already exist in Kernersville. We agree, and they do amazing things and are a great service and assistance to our citizens. Our goal for the recreation center is to address many of the current needs in our community, such as a facility to hold large crowd events, additional meeting space, indoor performing arts, multi-use programming space, and indoor athletic tournament facility’s, or any other community need! That is why we need your help. Drop by the current facility (125 E. Bodenhamer St.) and let your voice be heard.