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With Indoor Pool, Rec Center & Fields, Stafford Aims to Bring Fitness to the Center of the County

By Potomac Local August 19, 2014 5:30 am

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112613 embrey mill park

STAFFORD, Va. – The shovels are ready and Stafford County leaders have been summoned to toss dirt to herald the construction of a new $12 million indoor / outdoor recreation center.

The 76,000-square foot center will be located at the county’s new Embrey Mill Park, located in the new housing development of the same name just off Mine Road.

Here’s a description of the new facility, according to county documents:

…the Embrey Mill Indoor Recreation Facility to include three pools, one of which is a competition class, 50-meter deep water pool capable of attracting major regional swim meets to the county.

The 76,000 square foot facility will also include a shallower pool suitable for family activities, and a therapy pool, along with exercise, physical conditioning, instructional rooms, and locker room facilities.

The Facility is to be located on the same 50- acre site as a rectangular field complex, with shared parking, utilities, and stormwater management. The field complex is planned for eleven rectangular fields, including up to four artificial turf fields, capable of hosting major regional tournaments in a variety of sports. 

Stafford’s parks and recreation Director Jamie Porter says the new centrally-located facility just off Interstate 95 will provide a place for year-round swimming lessons for children, and will help to ease the burden on already crowded swim lanes in the county.

“We don’t have the capacity to manage the high school swims teams that we have. We hold meets at Woodlands and Curtis [the only publically-maintained swimming pools in the county] but parking is an issue,” said Porter.

Providing more swimming lanes will also open up opportunities to attract new, private swimming leagues as well as ones that have been turned away in the past due to lack of space, she added.

As for the 11 new fields, a county study found that more parents want county parks that have a variety of fields serving sports that catering to multiple age groups. Right now, many younger teams play on fields at one park while other teams with older children play at other parks, said Porter.

And, while the project is all systems go, there isn’t any money in the current county budget to hire the needed parks employees that will work at the new facility. The parks department requested two maintenance workers for the new recreation center but elected officials decided not to fund the positions.  

In all, Porter says three full-time positions, as well as a few part-time staff will be needed to operate the center.

Construction on the new center is expected to be complete by fall 2015.

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