Carroll selects I-77 site for water park

By Allen Worrell

March 11, 2014

The Carroll County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Monday to select the Carroll County Recreation Park as the preliminary location for a water park in Carroll County.

Board Chairman David Hutchins wanted to make it clear that the vote was purely for the purpose of closing out the contract with the consultants who worked on a feasibility study of building an aquatic park in Carroll County. The feasibility study was the subject of a special meeting on Feb. 25. At that time two sites, one at Woodlawn School and the other on Ball Park Drive, were discussed as possible locations for the $3.6 million project.

“I think today we need to make a decision about at least a suggested preliminary location, and this is purely for the purposes for closing out the contract we have with those folks who did the feasibility study,” Hutchins said. “It is not saying A, ‘We are approving it.’ It is not saying B, ‘We are going to do it.’ It is not saying that is where it is going to go, but we do have to close out that contract with them in order to, first off for them to get paid, and second, for us to have a document to look at for the future.”

Supervisor Sam Dickson, who served on the water park committee along with Joshua Hendrick, then made the motion to select the recreation park as the preliminary location for a water park.

“With the need to complete that study, I would move that we select the site of the old rec park now, which is called the 77 site,” Dickson said. “Also on Woodlawn School, we don’t know what is going to happen to that building. There are a lot of different things that could possibly happen, so probably the rec department area is not going to change, so I would suggest that area.”

Hendrick seconded Dickson’s motion. Supervisor Bob Martin said he originally thought Woodlawn would be the ideal place for a water park. But after much thought, he said he now agrees with Dickson that the recreation park would be better suited for a water park.

“People tell me you have to have excellent management on something like that, and the selling point I have thought about is we have all those hotels and so forth around there,” Martin said, referring to the amount of businesses near the park off Interstate 77’s Exit 14 in Hillsville. “It might be possibly that putting that pool facility there, maybe they could include that in their price for use for their patrons in hotels and motels. I have done an about-face on it, but that is a selling point to me. The second one is, was it 70,000 cars passing there on the interstate every day or something? It just makes the site much more visible and so forth. There may be some other possible things that need to be done on the Woodlawn property.”

The supervisors then voted unanimously to select the recreation park as the preliminary location for a water park, at least for purposes of closing out the feasibility study.

Hendrick then asked if the Feb. 25 presentation could be posted on Carroll County’s website ( Carroll County Administrator Gary Larrowe said the presentation would be posted online soon, and as of Tuesday morning, the 58-page feasibility study presentation was on the county’s website. Hutchins noted that the presentation would also be downloadable.

Allen Worrell can be reached at (276) 728-7311 or on Twitter@AWorrellTCN