Charles Pointe Recreation Complex to have grand opening Sunday

The Exponent Telegram

Thursday, April 12, 2012

By       Darlene Taylor-Morgan
           STAFF WRITER

BRIDGEPORT – More than 1,000 people are expected to attend Sunday’s grand opening of the $7.4 million Charles Pointe Recreation Complex.

West Virginia University Athletic Director Oliver Luck will give a brief presentation.  The ceremony is set for 1 p.m.

“Developing sports fields for local residents is always important for a variety of different sports,” Luck said.  “I think it is real positive.  And the Bridgeport complex will be so nice it will be an economic benefit for the city to host teams from outside the county and the state.”

The facility currently has a wagon-wheel style layout of two baseball and two softball fields with a concession stand in the middle of the four fields.

Bridgeport Mayor Jim Christie believes hundreds of people from throughout the area will want to see the new complex.”

“Assuming good weather, I’m predicting 1,000-1,500 people since the opening day for Little League follows our grand opening,” Christie said.

Because of the overflow crowd, the city will offer shuttle rides from the North Central West Virginia Airport from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.  Gates will open at 11:30 a.m. and concessions will be available beginning at noon.

“I encourage people from all over the county to come early, park at the airport and ride the shuttle because of parking,” Christie said.

Bridgeport City Manager Kim Haws said the recreation complex represents the largest one-time project the city of Bridgeport has ever done.

“It represents the council’s commitment to improving and sustaining the quality of life Bridgeporters have come to appreciate and expect,” he said. “It provides a sports atmosphere unparalleled in the state of West Virginia.”

Christie agrees that it is one of the largest city projects ever.

 ”This is something we’ve been working on for about three to four years.  It was a very ambitious project and something that’s been needed for a long time by the community,” he said.  “It provides opportunities that we have just not had in the past.”

Besides additional fields for the kids to practice, there will be the economic opportunity of attracting travel teams in the spring, summer and fall, Christie said.

“That will bring people here for several days and create economic opportunity that today does not exist,” he said.  “Other local teams are talking to us about playing there.  It’s going to be available to people throughout the county.”

WVU’s Luck also will be on hand to throw out the opening pitch for the Little League opening day ceremony to begin there at 1:30 p.m.

Past and present Bridgeport council members, Harrison County commissioners as well as other state and local dignitaries are expected to attend.

Jamie Corton, managing partner of Genesis Partners, master developer of Charles Pointe, commended everyone who worked hand-in-hand to get tot this point.

“I want to thank the state of West Virginia, Harrison County and the city of Bridgeport for all coming together to make this recreational complex happen.  Because through working together, we were all able to achieve this great facility,” Corton said.