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December 14, 2018

Supervisors OK Central Sports Complex funding

The 74-acre Central Sports Complex site extends from Meetze to Old Auburn road, adjacent to the Fauquier County Fairgrounds, just southeast of Warrenton.
This is a dream come true for a lot of people. I’m glad for them; I’m glad for the kids in the community. They’re going enjoy this for many, many years.
— Parks and Recreation Director Larry Miller
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier finally will get the long-awaited Central Sports Complex.

The county board of supervisors Thursday night agreed to fund the $12.4-million project just southeast of Warrenton that has been discussed and debated for almost two decades.

Work on the 74-acre complex — with six multipurpose fields to accommodate soccer, football, lacrosse and field hockey; five baseball diamonds; a multi-purpose trail and a horse trail — could begin in January, according to county Parks and Recreation Director Larry Miller.

The supervisors awarded the project’s $10.4-million construction contract to S.W. Rodgers Co. of Gainesville.

Funds for contingency, construction management, engineering and inspection services will total about $2 million.

Owned by a Fauquier family, S.W. Rodgers submitted the lowest of three qualified construction bids for the job.

With a 20-month construction schedule, the complex should be completed by August 2021. At least four fields could be finished next summer.

But, as approved, the project doesn’t include two planned restrooms structures, which would cost an estimated $3.5 million more.

That includes the cost of installing a septic and drainfield system and related infrastructure to support restrooms. The sports field complex area has no access to public water or sewer.

Until the complex gets restrooms, it will rely on portable toilets.

“I’ve used them in every parks’ system I’ve worked in,” Assistant Parks Director Gary Rzepecki said of portable toilets. “They’re a necessary stop-gap measure” but “workable.”

Fauquier’s officials began discussing the complex about two decades ago.

“It’s so hard to believe it’s happening,” Mr. Miller said after the meeting. “Nineteen years. This is a dream come true for a lot of people. I’m glad for them; I’m glad for the kids in the community. They’re going enjoy this for many, many years.”

Supervisor Chris Granger (Center District) predicted the complex would be a “great benefit” for “generations of kids” participating in sports leagues “and adults as well.”

Many might think Warrenton Aquatic and Recreation Facility soccer fields satisfy that sport’s needs, Mr. Granger said moments before the vote.

But “this isn’t (only) about soccer fields,” he added. “This is about football and field hockey and lacrosse and other rectangular sports that can’t find playing space, as well as baseball fields.

“Baseball diamonds are spread across the county and aren’t necessarily the best prepared.”

Supervisor Rick Gerhardt, whose Cedar Run District includes the site, hailed the decision.

“This has been a long time coming,” Mr. Gerhardt said.

Like his board colleagues, he that it makes sense to substantially complete the project without delay rather than in phases. In a work session Thursday afternoon, the supervisors consider several options to fund portions of the sports complex plan with the assumption it would get completed in the future.

“If we don’t do this all at once, the cost is just going to continue to climb,” Mr. Gerhardt explained. “It’s one of those things where the can has been kicked down the road . . . . At the end of the day, I think it’s the right move.”

He also urged Mr. Miller to ensure that construction would cause as “little disruption as possible” next summer to the annual Fauquier County Fair, which takes place on property adjoining the Central Sports Complex site during four days in July.

Because the project far exceeds the allocated amount, county staffers Thursday afternoon scoured Fauquier’s budget and capital improvement plan for almost $4 million more to make up the difference.

Among several measures to accomplish that, the board scrapped a $2.1-million plan to relocate the Fauquier County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court from its Main Street building to the circuit courthouse on Culpeper Street. The county considered buying the vacant BB&T building on Main Street for office space to house agencies that might moved from the “new” circuit courthouse.

The supervisors voted, 4-0, to approve the sports complex project.

Because he works for contractor S.W. Rodgers, board of supervisors’ Chairman Chris Butler (Lee) abstained from discussing and voting on the project Thursday to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

In other matters Thursday, board:

• Accepted a 28.4-acre donation off Route 28 near Catlett from Morning Star of Catlett Inc. for a future community park. For tax purposes, the county values the agriculturally zoned property at $139,500.

• Awarded a $100,000-contract to Richmond-based Timmons Group to do an infrastructure study for the Bealeton, New Baltimore, Opal and Remington service districts. 

Contact Don Del Rosso at Don@FauquierNow.com or 540-270-0300.
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Tony Bentley · December 26, 2018 at 6:07 am
nonewtaxes - “We have a Northern "Sports Complex that cost $5 million more than this and is underutilized...." What about moving the Fauquier County Fair to the Northern Sports Complex so it IS utilized? What say you?
Tell It Like It Is · December 19, 2018 at 12:38 pm
What will happen to the the County Fair? Wasn't this land used for County Fair parking? I don't think anyone here and most in the county have not remotely considered what this will NOT do to help our annual County Fair.

Where are they going to park thousands of cars? This plan may likely put the nails in the coffin for not only the Fair but 4-H programs and other rural agricultural county events that have been here and quite active for decades.

Who's to decide what kids deserve what programs? Sports or agriculture?

I dare say that the kids that grew up in and around farm life are more respectful, more responsible, have been in less trouble with the law and thus are much more deserving in my opinion.

If the the Fauquier County Fair is unable to continue, shame on the county board and shame on the deep pocket neighbors around the fairgrounds for your part in not saving this event for the kids that deserve it and enjoy it.

This county's management is getting so bad it's worse than the cow manure at the Fair itself!

No farms, no food. People need to wake up!
nonewtaxes · December 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm
Supervisor Christopher Granger (Center) countered, “We have a Northern "Sports Complex that cost $5 million more than this and is underutilized. This would cost less and be used every day because of its location. Not doing all the fields is leaving a giant price tag for the future. We have money set aside for projects that are never going to be touched. We could use that money instead for a project that will impact a lot of our residents.”"

This says it all. If you build it, they will come. That's only good in the movies. Got a park in the north that just grows weeds and provides county jobs for afew lucky guys who cut grass.

Maybe if the county was better able to seperate needs from wants there would be more money needed for teachers and less money for soccers moms who want it.

But I guess its a small price to pay for utopia. PS who cares if you have to bring a bucket to sheet in.
Rover 530 · December 16, 2018 at 10:46 pm
That's OK Demosthenes, he would have said something moronic anyway finding public support for recreation to be a liberal conspiracy.
Demosthenes · December 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm
That wasn't meant for this page...apologies!
Demosthenes · December 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm
It is almost amazing that Jeffersonian can't manage to post on any issue without adding in a little bit of xenophobia. I am so sorry that you find people different from you to be so scary. It must be an awful world to be living in for someone with your views.
nonewtaxes · December 16, 2018 at 11:53 am
The parks department is adding a playground to a local park. As part of that "improvement" the parks department installed a gate to the park also. Either the gate will always be kept opened or someone will have to stop twice a day to open and then close the gate. What a waste of money.

THe next time you want to raise taxes explain the gate first.


Lets all go to the new park and dont forget to wear diapers.
The nest designs · December 16, 2018 at 5:19 am
This makes me very angry. Money for sports but no money for a new library. The whole community could havw benefited from this too.Add to the fact that there will be,no toilets for that amount,of money is,outrageous to me!!
fpharris1 · December 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm
This is okay, I guess. What about the long-stalled Greenway? The county scours its budget to dig up $4M for this ... not for the Greenway, though.
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