Roanoke County Dedicates Green Ridge Recreation Center

Representatives of Roanoke County’s Parks and Rec Department along with county supervisors and administrators formally dedicate the new Rec Center.
Representatives of Roanoke County’s Parks and Rec Department along with county supervisors and administrators formally dedicate the new Rec Center.

Roanoke County held a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony on Tuesday Dec. 15 to celebrate the completion of the County’s new $30 million Green Ridge Recreation Center. Located at the intersection of Valleypointe Parkway and Wood Haven Road, the new Center will provide recreational opportunities, programs for all ages, and meeting space for the community.

The state-of-the-art facility is the first recreation center to be constructed in Roanoke County. The County’s only other recreation / community centers are located in renovated schools, including the Brambleton Center in Roanoke and the Craig Center in Vinton.  Developed by First Choice Public-Private Partners, LLC, the design of the building was intended to meet the leisure-time, recreation, and exercise needs of persons of all ages, abilities, and incomes.

The stately 76,000 square foot building includes a double gymnasium, fitness center, two aerobics rooms, three multi-purpose program rooms, and an indoor aquatics center with an adjoining birthday party room.

In addition, one of the Center’s highlights includes a 20,000 square foot outdoor leisure pool with very large slides and a lazy river dubbed “Splash Valley.” The building also has an indoor walking track that offers views of the sweeping vistas of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.

Roanoke County’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department saw the need for a new multi-use recreation center as demand for recreational opportunities, organized leisure activities,  senior and youth programs, and meeting space increased in the County over the past decade.

In 2006, Roanoke County surveyed citizens about their recreational needs as part of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism master planning process. The County also conducted a number of public meetings to discuss the results of the master planning process with County residents. The “multi-gen” center concept brings together many of the community’s top-rated recreational needs as identified by the master plan.

Members of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors and staff later visited multi-gen centers in St. Louis, Missouri. County staff also visited several community recreation centers in northern Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, as well as in Wytheville, Radford, and Christiansburg to learn how nearby recreation centers have been designed and operated before landing on the current operating model.

“Green Ridge Recreation Center exceeds everything we saw during our site visits,” said Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman, Mike Altizer. The fact that memberships to the new facility have exceeded projections underscores that statement.

“People come to Green Ridge Recreation Center and take one look at the facility and our broad-based programs, and they want to be part of it. Our January 1 opening can’t come soon enough,” added Pete Haislip, Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for Roanoke County.

By Teresa Hall