The City of Lenoir was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) to build a new splash pad and make other improvements at the Lenoir Aquatic and Fitness Center and Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex.
The grant requires a local match, so the City will spend another $500,000 on the project, bringing the total investment to just over $1,000,000.
In addition to the new splash pad, which will replace the kiddie pool, the grant money will be used to build an outdoor concrete ping pong table and an outdoor concrete corn hole court at the Aquatic Center. The City will also build a new picnic shelter with tables and trash cans at the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex. The new shelter will have an accessible walking path to the bathrooms.
Parks and Recreation Director Kenny Story said he was happy that Lenoir received the funding.
"This will help us bring more recreational opportunities to our residents," Director Story said. "Our application received a very good score. I think we were in the top 10 of scores, out of 39 awarded, so it was a really good project."
The grant funds will also be used to make renovations to the building at the Aquatic Center. Both the men's and women's locker rooms will be renovated, and the whirlpool will be upgraded or possibly replaced.
The City has three years to complete the project. Director Story said Lenoir should receive the official go ahead in a couple months. Then staff will complete final designs and begin the bidding process for the for the various improvements and upgrades.
"Given the struggle to find materials and labor, it’s hard to say how long the project might take at the moment, but we’ll move as fast as we can," Director Story said.
The hours of operation, fees, and access to the splash pad have yet to be determined. Now that the City has the funding, staff can work to finalize the design.
In 2012, the City of Lenoir received a $156,750 PARTF grant (total project cost $313,500 with the City match) to add the indoor and outdoor slides, shade structures, two picnic shelters, picnic tables, diving blocks, an observation deck, and the bocce court to the aquatic center. Staff also irrigated one of the soccer fields at the soccer complex with the funds.
In 2016, the City received a $163,500 PARTF grant (total project cost of $327,000 with the City match), which staff used to make improvements to Lenoir Optimist Park and Mulberry Recreation Center. With that grant, Lenoir Optimist park got a new parking lot, restrooms, a playground, two picnic shelters, permanent corn hole boards, walking paths, and new lights on the rear ball field. Staff also added new FlexCourt to one tennis court and installed new lights on one of the ball fields at Mulberry Recreation Center.
"As always, we try our best to meet the recreational needs of our residents, and we're looking forward to bringing more amenities to the Aquatic and Fitness Center and the Soccer Complex," Director Story said.
About the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center (LAFC)
The Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center is located on 118 acres in northeast Lenoir at 1031 Jim Barger Drive NE. The property is adjacent to the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex. The center provides indoor and outdoor pools, a weight room, exercise classes, trail access, birthday party area, locker rooms, picnic shelters, racquetball courts, bocce ball, showers, and a weight room.
Find out more by clicking the following link, cityoflenoir.com/lafc.
The site plan above shows the location of improvements to be made at the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center and Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex.
This site plan shows the location of improvements to be made at the Lenoir Aquatic & Fitness Center
This graphic shows the location of new picnic shelter at the Lenoir Rotary Soccer Complex. The new shelter will be southwest of the current restroom building.