While attorneys continue to hammer out a final agreement, Roanoke Rapids City Council Tuesday night voted to conditionally approve a contract that would bring new tennis courts to T.J. Davis Recreation Center.
City Attorney Gilbert Chichester said there are four different documents and drafts have been completed. “The bulk of the details have been worked out. It’s just a matter of finalizing the details.”
Chichester said Halifax County commissioners would also weigh in on the matter and a resolution has been prepared for that board to consider at its meeting next week. “The indication is they will approve it.”
City Manager Joseph Scherer told council the discussion has centered providing adequate tennis courts for the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District and residents.
The school system will pay for the demolition of the four courts at T.J. Davis and the construction of new courts.
Scherer said following the meeting the total estimated cost of the project is $200,000 with a 20 percent contingency.
Scherer told council the city over the next two fiscal years would repay the school system for half of the cost — up to $100,000, he said afterward.
Chichester said there would be a 15-year lease at $1 a year along with a joint use agreement on how residents and the school system would share the courts.
The city and school system last week agreed to enter into a joint agreement to demolish and construct four new courts behind T.J. Davis.
Before that agreement last week, the school system had looked at several options, including building at Manning school and the Patterson property behind the high school. Those options, the school system said last week, would have cost more than $400,000, while the T.J. Davis option would be less than half since lighting is already there.
School board Chairman Jay Carlisle, who attended the city council meeting Tuesday night, said afterward, “We’re getting there. We have have to take further action. I think it’s all coming together.”
City Parks and Recreation Director John Simeon said, “I’m very pleased with the effort from all of the groups coming together to accomplish this project.”
The city and the school district have a longstanding agreement that has been in place for years for students to use the area baseball fields, swimming pools, and other recreational facilities. This would be a continuation of that partnership.
Carlisle said at last week’s school board meeting the system has looked at busing students to Northampton County and other options. He said he believed the T.J. Davis option was the best for the children and residents.