State money will be used to improve city recreation center

Published 5:50 pm Monday, August 6, 2018

The City of Washington will use a $50,000 from the state of North Carolina to replace the gym flooring at the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center on East Seventh Street.

The money, by way of an appropriation from the state’s budget, comes from the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

State Sen. Bill Cook, who lives in Chocowinity, presented a mock check to city officials in the Council Chambers at City Hall on Monday morning. “I’ve been aware of the needs of this Bobby Andrews Recreation Center for some time. It first came to my attention when I went over there to play pickleball. Folks were concerned about the flooring,” Cook said. “I was able to talk to some folks in Raleigh. I’m on the budget committee, so I knew some folks who were in control of some funds. So, I talked it up and got enough support, and we were able to get a chunk of money for the facility.”

City Manager Bobby Roberson said, “The interesting thing about that is the secretary of that department used to be employed with the City of Washington, which is Susi Hamilton. She’s the secretary of natural and cultural resources for the state.”

Kristi Roberson, the city’s parks and recreation director, said the city is grateful for the $50,000. “It means we will have a new floor in the Bobby Andrews Center, which will allow for basketball, pickleball, volleyball — just a better flooring for the participants and all the activities that are taking place at the center,” she said.

Other projects have been completed or are planned for the center. The city’s 2018-2022 capital-improvements plan also includes $26,000 for converting the former “band field” next to the Bobby Andrews Recreation Center on East Seventh Street into practice soccer fields. The site is where the Washington High School band practiced when the school was located in the East Seventh-East Eighth streets area.

In recent years, work at the center included repairing a water leak, cleaning up a mold outbreak and replacing its roof.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

email author More by Mike