A brand new City of Huntsville recreation center is coming to East Huntsville, a move expected to score big with residents and league players in the Hampton Cove area.
The new 26,000 square foot facility will be built on 10 acres of undeveloped land on Taylor Road near Goldsmith Schiffman Elementary School. It will house a recreation center with two gymnasiums and court markings for basketball, volleyball, and pickleball; a weight and fitness area, community meeting space; two lighted multipurpose fields, walking/jogging trail, and playground.
“This has been 10 years in the making, and we are pleased to move forward with constructing this much-needed public amenity,” said Mayor Tommy Battle.
The City has been working with residents and Eastern League sport representatives to plan a recreation center that will serve the community for decades to come.
“This is the City’s largest league and fastest growing area and we haven’t had a facility to offer,” said Steve Ivey, Director of Parks & Recreation. “We’ve been using the local schools, but with the high numbers, we’re jammed together playing three to five games per day, six days a week.”
Growth in Eastern League has been staggering. There are about 2,000 youth athletes participating in soccer, football, baseball, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading and softball. Soccer is the most robust program with 62 teams and 1,000 players competing for fields, while basketball accounts for half of the City’s entire basketball program, juggling 70 teams and 500 players in a single school gym.
“We couldn’t be happier with the plans for the new recreation center,” said Justin Carter, chairman of the Eastern League. “When you have as many teams as we have, this gives us the resources to provide better coaching for kids to have the best possible experience and to have the opportunity for our teams to grow their programs to meet demand.”
The new Recreation Center is expected to cost about $6 million. Architectural plans are being finalized with a bid date for construction planned for the first quarter of 2019. The project should take about one year to construct.