Sports facility under way

Carolina Courts held a groundbreaking on Dec. 8 for its 47,120-square-foot sports complex at 24 Spring St. SW.

The $3.9 million facility will house four high school-size basketball courts, eight middle school-size basketball courts, eight volleyball courts and a 3,200-square-foot fitness center and training lab that will be operated by Rhymer Fitness, city officials said.

Carolina Courts expects to hire 52 people for the facility.

The site is beside Concord's Memorial Gardens and was home to the city's former public works operations base.

The site was prepared for new construction using federal Brownfields Economic Development Initiative grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants encourage economic development projects on municipal sites that are either run down or unused.

Carolina Courts also will use the city's HUD loan to help finance the construction.

Carolina Courts also operates a facility in Indian Trail in Union County. The company specializes in basketball, volleyball and fitness and will offer leagues, camps, training and open play at the Concord building.

On weekends, Carolina Courts will host basketball and volleyball tournaments expected to draw up to 1,000 visitors to downtown Concord.

Based on its operations in Indian Trail, Carolina Courts anticipates generating 20,000 annual hotel room nights in Concord from tournaments in the new facility.

"This project is exactly what we have been waiting and working for in Downtown Concord for a long time," Mayor Scott Padgett said in a statement. "It will be a catalyst to Historic Downtown Concord's resurgence and transformation into a top visitor destination."

The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau will help promote the facility as a venue for tournaments and events. "No other facility in Cabarrus County has this many courts under one roof," Lauren Carpenter, CVB sports and recreation sales manager, said in the statement.

The facility is expected to open in fall 2012.

Site work has included relocating existing sewer and storm water lines. Carolina Courts selected Concord Engineering and Surveying for design services, Richard Burrage Inc. for site improvements and S.C. Hondros & Associates Inc. for building design and construction.

Staff Writer Lukas Johnson contributed.

Two Mooresville rec centers open Jan. 7

The town plans to hold grand openings on Jan. 7 for two recreational facilities: phase one of the 80-acre Cornelius Road Park and the indoor Talbert Road Recreation Center in Talbert Pointe Business Park.

Cornelius Road Park, at 247 Cornelius Road, features six lighted tennis courts, a play structure and walking trails.

Talbert Road Recreation Center includes two regulation high school basketball courts. Each court has six basketball goals, and the facility can be divided into four quadrants.

Both projects were funded with bond money that voters approved in 2005.

A ribbon-cutting for Talbert Road Recreation Center is scheduled for 10 a.m. Jan. 7 and at 11 a.m. Jan. 7 for Cornelius Road Park, Mooresville Recreation Director Wanda McKenzie said last week.

Culvert replacement begins Jan. 3

Beginning Jan. 3, city crews will replace the stormwater culvert near the intersection of Georgia Street and Young Avenue.

As a result, Georgia Street was closed to through traffic between Young and Chestnut for one day only last Wednesday for a water line repair to prepare for the culvert replacement. The same stretch of Georgia Street will be closed Jan. 3 through March 4 for the main culvert replacement.

Local traffic to homes and businesses will retain access to driveways. Motorists traveling through the area should follow the posted detour route of Young Avenue, Crowell Drive and Princess Avenue, then back to Georgia Street.

After the work is done, crews will extend the culvert on Young Avenue and hope to complete that work with only a one-lane closure.