If you build it, they will come

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 25, 2004

JACKSON – In its maiden month, the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center is getting quite a bit of business and new equipment to boot.

At Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting, Recreation Department Director James Roberts came before the board seeking approval of a $40,000 bid for bleachers, benches and scorer tables.

“In order to have a safe area for spectators and players to sit, bleachers and benches are needed for the ball fields,” Roberts said. “Spectators need a safe place to watch the game where they won’t be in the way of others.”

Other bids were received by the department for the work, including TD Sports in Rich Square and All Star Bleachers in Lakeland, Fla. However, each of those companies did not have all of the equipment for the project.

Roberts recommended BSN Sports in Dallas TX., which could provide all the equipment.

Of the $40,000 amount, $38,340 will go toward 12 bleachers, 12 benches and five scorer tables from BSN Sports. The remaining $1,660 of the price will go toward the installation of the equipment.

Funding for the project will come from the county’s contingency line item.

Each of the bleachers will seat 50 people and will include a fence around the back for safety. The benches will hold up to 14 players each and each of the ball fields will have a scorer’s table.

Commissioner James Hester (D-1st) motioned to approve the bid for the project; it was seconded by Commissioner Virginia Spruill (D-2nd). The motion passed without objection.

Roberts also submitted a report to the commissioners on the Cultural and Wellness Center’s busy first month.

In its first week, the center saw 338 individuals, averaging 68 people a day. The report showed a steady increase of those using the facility over the first four weeks.

Week four showed the highest numbers with a total of 507 people using the center and averaging 101 people a day.

Roberts said as of May 5, the center has 539 members.

He also noted the center’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday. Roberts said as of now, the center is not open on weekends.