Volume 15, Number 50
During Tuesday evenings discussion with the ClarkNexson architecture team designing the new community house at E. Carroll Joyner Park, Mayor Vivian Jones was obviously surprised to learn the new building will only have one basketball court.
“I thought the whole idea [of the new community center] was to get three or four basketball courts,” Jones said. That was not feasible, Jennifer Attride, the lead architect, said, because there has been an escalation of 5 to 6 percent in costs. “We have a pot of money” and this is what we can do.
There is $11.1 million in bond money from the 2014 bond referendum for the community house.
“You’ve added office space and are taking away basketball courts,” Jones said. “I’ve heard so many times we just don’t have enough basketball courts. I just don’t understand.”
Attride said the large basketball court planned can provide two smaller courts suitable for youth basketball, allowing two games at once. The gymnasium can also be reconfigured for three volleyball courts.
Attride and Caitlin Ottoway had been explaining that they have added a second entrance from Harris Road with parking near the building on the west side in addition to the parking on the east side. The roof lines and building shape mimics the shape of the restored barns in the park. They will use stone for the base and there will be a weathered board appearance for the exterior. The covered front porch with a dropoff area will have a glass wall behind.
“We’re working with the [town] forester to see if we can use the trees we’re taking down to be used as boards in the construction,” Ottoway said.
Commissioner Brian Pate said, “We’re gaining two ball courts when we’re lacking them and getting offices [for the parks and recreation staff] and a kitchen.
When there were meetings about the community center plan, town residents “came up with a laundry list of things they wanted,” Commissioner Margaret Stinnett said.
The plan has a dance studio, Town Manager Kip Padgett added, saying it is something the town can rent out for weddings and events.
And there is additional storage. “People were wanting to drop off stuff Friday for Good Neighbor Day,” Commissioner Anne Reeve said, “and we have no place to put it.
Jones asked if anyone could tell her how many cars there were last weekend [Wake Forest Unplugged and a concert on Sunday] at Joyner Park. She estimated 1,500 people and 500 or more cars. “We will still have cars parking on the grass.”
There was a brief discussion about the canopy or cover or bandshell for the large amphitheater stage.
Attride said the team is meeting with the town’s inspection department and the construction manager now. They plan to solicit bids for the building after the first of next year.