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Originally published: 2014-04-04 12:59:28
Last modified: 2014-04-04 13:00:13

Rec center interest meeting April 14

by Anna Oakes

Community members are reviving the pursuit of a county recreation center with an interest meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, April 14, at Green Valley School.


Denny Norris, a native of Green Valley and a member of the county Parks and Recreation Commission, will host the event, which is also organized by the nonprofit High Country Recreation.


"The purpose of this meeting is to help generate interest in and get feedback on a community recreation center for Watauga County," said Scott St. Clair, a High Country recreation board member. "Since a YMCA will not be coming to our community, a county recreation center is our only option to meet this need."


The nonprofit spearheaded efforts in late 2012 and early 2013 to study the option of bringing a YMCA to Watauga County, but two analyses indicated a YMCA facility would not be viable here. 


St. Clair said last year that High Country Recreation would work to organize supporters from various sectors, including business, medical, nonprofit and government, to collectively affirm the need for a recreation center and develop a plan to fund it.


The desire for a new pool and recreation center was outlined in the Watauga County Parks and Recreation Comprehensive Systemwide Plan 2010-2019, the 2006 Comprehensive Plan Update for the town of Boone and the Watauga County Recreation Plan from 1999.


In 2010, however, Watauga County voters soundly defeated a referendum on a quarter-cent local sales tax increase that would have generated an estimated $1.9 million for a recreation and community center.


For more information about the recreation center effort, visit http://www.highcountryrecreation.org.