Short Pump community center's future in doubt

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The future of the Short Pump Community Center is in doubt, as two groups battle between keeping it open, or shutting at down. Among the stakes: a summertime hotspot for children, or, more than $1 million.

Is the Short Pump Community Center, really for the community? That's the question faced by the center's leaders, who testified before the State Corporation Commission, no longer fighting for the same side.

"A lot of communities don't have pools. This is a place where they can go," said Jeffery Bailey, witness for SPCC's members.

But when an attorney asked if the general community is served by the club, Donald Fitzgerald, witness for the SPCC's board, said, "As it stands right now, no."

Located on 15 acres near Twin Hickory and Wyndham, the SPCC features an outdoor pool and tennis courts, along with a playground and picnic area.

"We also have holiday functions during the summer, Memorial Day, Fourth of July," Bailey said.

But the center closes during the Fall and Winter. So, one side voted to dissolve it, on the basis that it never became a place where people can meet year-round, in a community building.

"That just never came to be. It seemed we were always doing things for the pool and the tennis courts, and we were never making any real progress toward the building," Fitzgerald said.

The Short Pump Community Center is privately owned, and assessed between $1.2 and $1.4 million. It could be shut down and sold, if the Commission allows it.

"Will it be sold?" asked Richard Rice, who wants the center to remain open. "I can't really think of any other reason why it would be dissolved, if they didn't want to sell it," he added.

From here, the Commission will look at the testimony, and then open up a 21-day public comment period. The earliest a decision would come down, would be sometime in January of 2010.

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