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2010-10-27 / Front Page

Better athletic facilities coming to two parks

By Fred Jeter
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Upgrades are coming sooner rather than later to a pair of Chesterfield County’s established recreational facilities. Huguenot Park, 10901 Robious Road, and the Clover Hill Sports Complex, 17701 Genito Road, will soon share in a $340,000 facelift. Athletes and spectators could see a difference by next spring. Construction bids are going out soon.

At the same time, construction will continue at SportsQuest, located at the intersection of Route 288 and Powhite Parkway.

“Everyone is a winner here,” said Chesterfield Parks and Recreation Director Mike Golden. “We felt that improvements at Huguenot and Clover Hill would be delayed; now they won’t be delayed.”

The board of supervisors approved a “lease and performance agreement” on May 26 with SportsQuest for use of eight synthetic turf rectangular, multipurpose fields and some other facilities. As a result, the board cut the general fund transfer to the Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement Program (CIP) by $1.9 million (originally earmarked for gym construction and a senior center). At that point, Huguenot and Clover Hill enhancements were placed on hold.

Since then, the board has agreed to replace $340,000 of the $1.9 million in CIP funding with money from Chesterfield’s reserve fund (similar to a savings account) for capital projects. The restoration of $340,000 in CIP funding is for Huguenot and Clover Hill.

“The way we look at it, we’re all moving forward at the same time, with nobody waiting,” said Stuart Connock, assistant director of planning and construction.

The Clover Hill Complex, which opened in 1996 in western Chesterfield three miles from Powhatan County line, is a 100-acre tract with four lit ball diamonds and seven rectangular fields. Additional parking spots/walkways, turf improvements and upgrades to the baseball/ softball infields and backstops are on the “to-do” list for Clover Hill.

Chesterfield Baseball Clubs and Commonwealth Youth Lacrosse Association (with field hockey, lacrosse and soccer under its umbrella) are primary users.

At Huguenot, there are plans to widen rectangular field No. 1, while upgrading the turf with compost and fertilizer. A 56-acre facility that opened in 1983, Huguenot features three rectangular fields, picnic shelters, play equipment, a 2.3 mile fitness trail, as well as basketball and tennis courts.

FC Richmond soccer club is the primary tenant at Huguenot, which is considered more of a park than athletic site.

While Huguenot and Clover Hill are the “old” in this equation, SportsQuest represents the “new.” Chesterfield has signed a 20-year, $4.3 million lease with SportsQuest for use of the synthetic fields, a field house, gym and senior center. In its original plans, the county intended to build the gym and senior center independent of SportsQuest. Now the county will utilize those same facilities on Sports- Quest’s campus.

There are already nine fields completed at SportsQuest (now in use by private lacrosse and flag-football groups), with another eight under construction.

Once completed, the county will have access to those fields Mondays through Thursdays until 9 p.m. Chesterfield will also have use of the fields one weekend a year.

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