The Watauga County Board of Commissioners attended a Charrette focusing on recreational programming for the proposed recreation center which was conducted by PBC+L Architects on Thursday, March 18, 2010, at 3:00 P.M. in the Commissioners’ Board Room at the Watauga County Administration Building, Boone, North Carolina. Those present were: Chairman Deal, Vice-Chairman Winkler, Commissioner Cooper, Commissioner Futrelle, Commissioner Kinsey, County Manager Nelson, and Deputy County Manager Geouque.
            Mr. Chad Roberson with PBC+L began the charrette at 3:00 P.M.
The purpose of the Charrette was to determine the vision, needs, and concerns for the proposed recreation center. Attendees were divided into three teams and asked to set priorities for programming at the proposed recreation center.
            Team 1 reported the following priorities in order of importance: swimming pool/s that qualified for competition and also met the needs of the leisure swimming community with adequate deck space; multipurpose areas which included classrooms, conference rooms, gymnasium space, flexible space, vending area/kitchen, and a catering kitchen; an indoor track which was long enough and had the variability to be used for several activities.
            Team 2 reported the following priorities: three swimming pools (lap, aquacize, and kiddie); exercise room with equipment; tournament facility/activity; parks and recreation mini-tournament; climbing wall, outside activities; team lockers for swim team and lap pool users; drop-in activities; general fitness; weight room/machines; and fitness opportunities. Team 2 also suggested any additional funding be used in the pool area with a retractable floor over the pool/s as a recommendation.
            Team 3 reported the following priorities: minimum of three large adult basketball courts; ¼ mile track; recessed wall elements (fire extinguishers, lights, etc.); multipurpose room/s designed to attract youth with light, sound, and dance, containing flexible use space and a community kitchen; storage; a roll-up turf: two pools with one chemical system; connection to the Greenway; bike racks; a phase two opportunity; multipurpose courts with the Western Youth Network having use of one court; facilities attractive to children for after school use; parks and recreation staff available after 5:00 P.M.; middle school use for healthy after-school activities; maximized court space; drop-in and all day activities; traverse type rock wall; and outdoor activities. Team 3 also noted the economic impacts of teams using the facility for basketball; swim meets, indoor soccer, and cheerleading competitions, emphasizing that people loved and wanted to visit this region.
            Based on reports from the three teams the overall programming priorities were established as follows: 1) swimming pools with the following options: three pool types; air temperature/control/heat; spectator space; adequate deck space; support spaces such as lockers for teams and families; schedule coordination with the school system, solar thermal pre-heat and solar orientation; 2) multipurpose gym space with the following options: space for basketball; space and floor plating for volleyball and soccer; curtains for dividing spaces; spectator areas; designed for tournament use for basketball, volleyball, and indoor soccer; controlled access for events that use concessions and require tickets; electrical outlets for the scoring tables; viewing from above; a sliding stage; and a good track surface (although it was a concern that a walking track could obscure the court/s); 3) indoor track as large as possible throughout the entire building, potentially with curtains to separate space; racquet ball courts adjacent; and water fountains and televisions available along the track; and 4) multiuse spaces for noncompetitive activities, exercise, game room (including billiards) and a hangout area which included space near the kitchen area, appropriate atmosphere in design to fit all activities, and where wireless internet could be accessed.
            PBC+L planned to compile the information gathered to present to the Board of Commissioners at their special meeting scheduled for Monday, March 22, 2010, at 2:00 P.M.
            The charrette was adjourned at 7:00 P.M.
Jim Deal, Chairman
Deron Geouque, Deputy County Manager