Laying The Ground Work For The Multipurpose Community Center
Marlinton, WV – The Pocahontas County Parks and Recreation Dept hopes to begin construction of a new multi-purpose community center in Marlinton soon. But before that can begin, a little groundwork needs to be done. And that’s just what was happening near the Marlinton Elementary school this past week; Parks and Rec Director Lauren Bennett explains.
“We are having some culvert installed in the drainage ditch next to the school,” says Bennett. “It’s a cooperative project between Greenbrier River Trail, the Town of Marlinton, and Parks and Recreation.”
Bennett says aesthetically, the project will have several benefits such as better access from the school to the trail, decreasing the amount of standing water in the summer months, and less loss of kickballs into the creek. But she says there’s another reason why they’re doing the project right now.
“The reason we’re pushing it right now is we’ve been working on this multipurpose community center, we are hoping to begin construction soon,” she says. “We’re a little shy of money for the project, so we’re looking at ways to save some money. Part of the community center is a retaining wall; by putting the culvert in and building up the soil there, we’ll eliminate the need for a retaining wall for this project, which will also eliminate about $30,000.00 from the cost of the project.”
Bennett talks about the kind of programs they’ll be able to offer in the community center.
“Essentially it will be a gymnasium, which will be shared by the students at the elementary school during the day, and then it will be open to the public after 3:30pm,” says Bennett. “But the rest of the building will house a wellness room with fitness equipment, racketball court, and then a couple of multipurpose rooms. Hopefully we’re doing all the same programs we’re offering now, you know, dance, drama, tae kwon do, girl scouts, boy scouts, blood drives; it will allow us to offer more in one facility.”
This project was bid out a second time after the first round of bids came in considerably higher than expected. Although more reasonable bids were submitted in the second round, Bennett says they’re still coming up a little short of funds.
“We received bids February 29th and our low bid was a couple hundred thousand over what we had money for on hand,” she says, “so we are seeking some other sources for funds. We may be doing some fundraisers here and I hope the public will be ready to support us. But we’re hoping to be able to accept this bid soon with funds on hand, so we can begin construction in the near future.”
“Is there any projected time frame when you hoping to get this thing finished and open to the public?”
“Uh, a year ago,” says a laughing Bennett.