Moore County Recreation Center at Hillcrest Park

Sign announcing construction of the Moore County Recreation Center at Hillcrest Park.

Contractors will start work in earnest in the coming weeks on the site of a new county recreation center in Hillcrest Park in Carthage.

County commissioners approved a $5.3 million contract with Harrod and Associates Constructors Inc. in July to build the facility. Construction is estimated to take about 18 months to complete.

County Capital Projects Manager Rich Smith told The Pilot Friday that the contractor has had someone on site for the past few weeks to start preparations. He said in that in the next week, workers will be putting in silt fences to control runoff and then start clearing the site.

“We are full blown,” Smith said of moving ahead on the project.

Smith said that since the contract was awarded. Harrod and Associates has been working with its vendors on pricing for materials “to make sure we are protected.”

“We are right on schedule.” Smith said.

He said that hopefully by January or February 2021 “we will be opening the doors.”

The 22,000-square-foot facility will include two gymnasiums with full-size basketball courts, a conference room that can seat 100 people for classes, restrooms, and a concession area.

The center is part of an overall reimagining of Hillcrest Park at the junction of N.C. 22 and U.S. 15-501. New parking, an additional baseball field and the splash pad that opened earlier this month are all part of the plan — and other outdoor facilities are possible as well.

The county opened the 7,000-square-foot splash pad July 10 to great fanfare with a large crowd of children and adults on hand. It costs $283,000 to build.

“This is really exciting,” Smith said of the overall project at Hillcrest Park.

Funding from the county’s capital reserves, which the commissioners earmarked for the center in 2017, will cover about half of the cost. The county also had more than $800,000 from the sales of properties bequeathed to the county to support recreation in a special project fund.

In addition, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee has raised about $680,000 in private funding for the center.

Commissioners’ Vice Chairwoman Catherine Graham said in July when the board awarded the contract that this is “one of the best things that’s happened to Moore County with the least expense to taxpayers in a long time.” She said it could not have happened without the help of people who have given money and time, noting there several residents have left their estates to benefit parks and recreation.

Board Chairman Frank Quis said during the dedication ceremony for the splash pad that this is “a perfect example of a public-private partnership.”

Larry Caddell, chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and former commissioners’ chairman, said this is something that will benefit children and youth for years to come. He thanked the commissioners for “having the courage to spend some money on the children of Moore County” through this project.

Contact David Sinclair at (910) 693-2462 or dscinlair@thepilot.com

(1) comment

Walter B Bull

Great move-especially as the younger families grow in number. WBBJr

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