Indoor rec complex planning should lead to success

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
- Benjamin Franklin

With that quote in mind,.it's safe to say that Bridgeport city leaders on the pathway to success with their indoor sports complex.

As they unveiled some of the final details Monday, city leaders discussed the planning that went into the $55 million, 155,000-square­foot facility that is going to be situated near the city's outdoor recreation complex at Charles Pointe.

Council member Dustin Vincent said dozens of stakeholders were consulted, as well as professionals in a process that's been ongoing for more than five years.

"A lot of people have put a lot into this to get this to this point,” he said. "I've been on council for six years, and we started a little over five years ago on this process. This isn't something that just came about over night," he said.

And it shows, as the video presen­ tation unveiled at council's meeting revealed, a truly stunning facility, complete with six basketball courts, six volleyball courts, a natatorium, a competition-sized·swimming pool, an indoor walking track, an indoor turf field and a fitness center.

There is ample space for groups relax prior to or after a workout or competition.

There also will be additional out­ door space utilized for soccer fields and other venues that will be uti­ lized by local residents, but also serve as an economic engine by at­ tracting visitors from other parts of West Virginia, as well as neighbor- ing states for athletic events like youth basketball, volleyball and soccer tournaments, much as the current recreational complex has attracted baseball tournaments.

The travel sports team industry continues to grow, and Bridgeport and Harrison County will be able to capitalize on other sports besides baseball now.


That will serve to drive what tourism officials call "heads in beds," increasing revenues for local hotels , restaurants and retail shop­ping centers.

It also brings newcomers to the region, to sample what West Virgin­ ia has to offer and perhaps consider relocating here if given the chance. And facilities like an indoor rec­reational complex clearly improve quality of life aspects that can be marketed to companies that are looking to expand or relocate to North Central West Virginia.

Bridgeport officials and community members have done well in planning the facility and should be congratulated for helping to pro­vide opportunities not just for local residents but for all of North Cen­tral West Virginia and visitors.

It will be exciting to see the fin­ ished product in late-2020 and the success it brings.