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TMI Auto Tech, backed by tobacco grant, aims to develop the ‘Spider’, 19 new jobs

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Multipurpose center, aquatics facility envisioned for Complex

SoVaNow.com / October 30, 2013


Joe Davidson and Winn Baker shared the plans for MCCSC’s Enrichment Complex, an expansion that will house a multipurpose center and aquatic facility, at its Noblin Farm Road site. Leading the presentation to the Clarksville Town Council was Michael Denise, CEO of the Mecklenburg County YMCA.

The results of a six-month feasibility study led the MCCSC Board to view the Enrichment Complex as part of a “new day” for Clarksville. Board members realized that an expanded facility could be an economic development tool for the area. A multi-purpose center would become a site for hosting larger athletic events, trade shows and parties needing to seat 1,000 people. And, an aquatic center would improve the quality of life for people living here as well as those looking to relocate to the area.

The YMCA would use the facility to expand its current programing, focusing on programs to stamp out childhood obesity through activity and ways to meet the health and wellness needs of older area residents with water therapy.

Since moving to the Enrichment Complex, the YMCA grew from 77 members to more than 800. With an expanded space, Mecklenburg County YMCA could quickly grow to over 1,200 members, said Denise.

The YMCA is not the only one to benefit from an expanded enrichment Complex. “What does this expanded space mean for Clarksville,” Denise asked rhetorically. “It means jobs.

Initially, the jobs that Denise and the MCCSC Board envision are construction related. Once built, the YMCA will need to add a program director, one or more lifeguards, swimming instructors and therapists for the pool. Convention traffic brings with it the need for more hotel/motel and restaurant workers.

The MCCSC Board is well aware that these changes will take place over time. Yet, once realized, they will allow Clarksville to continue its evolution from a manufacturing town to a tourist destination.

Denise said the multipurpose facility will be large enough to allow for more than one activity to take place at a time. It will have break out rooms, two regulation basketball courts, and event space that will hold enough tables to seat 1,000 people with ample room for food service.

The aquatic facility will have a main pool with its lap and fitness area, as well as a splash pool for kids and a physiotherapy pool for those with rehab needs.

Davidson called the plan to expand the Enrichment Complex “a huge, achievable challenge. But also one that will attract industry and businesses looking at quality of life issues. It will also promote a healthy life style for area residents and provide the largest meeting space site between Emporia and Danville. It will be state of the art.”

“We do not want to incur debt for this project,” Davidson said, adding that the MCCSC board would be looking for grant money and local support. He also asked the town to consider increasing the water allotment from 75,000 to 100,000 gallons per year. The water allotment is the amount the town provides at no charge to the YMCA each year.

In other business, Town Council members learned that their attorneys finally filed a petition with the Mecklenburg County Circuit Court to begin the final phase of annexation. The Virginia Supreme Court must now appoint a three-judge panel to review the annexation agreement and decide whether to approve it.

Town Manager Jeff Jones said, now that the process is again moving forward, “We need a drop dead date.” It is the date by which the Court must rule on the annexation petition, in order for the changes to become effective by Jan. 1. Jones also recommended, based upon advice from a former zoning official, Mickey Moore, that the town begin working on changes to its zoning code. One changed Moore calls for is to create a “temporary holding zoning category.” All newly annexed property will receive the temporary designation until Council decides the highest and best use of the property, and zones it accordingly.

Acting Police Chief Bobby Boring asked Council to approve a curfew for Halloween night. They fixed the curfew at 8 p.m. Children over 12 years of age are not allowed to wear masks in public for Halloween.

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