Paragould recreation project shaping up

January 31, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CST

PARAGOULD--Several improvements have been made to perk up Paragould recreation.

A $15 million Paragould park and recreation project is nearly complete with the additions of RV pads to Reynold's Park and a skate and water park addition across town with more on the way.

Many residents are anxiously awaiting the opening of the new community center which was supposed to be completed two months ago.

Greene County Mayor Mike Gaskill says, "We're down to the punch list. The small things that needed taken care of, for the most part, when you look at it are mostly complete."

When you look at the big picture the project is on its way with a skate park request granted and a water park complete.

"Instant success. I went over there one afternoon and the place was full of kids. On one day over there, there were 100 kids signed up," Gaskill says.

The skate park is a huge hit with the kids, but the new community center is geared toward all ages.

"You can come swim at the new complex. You can come to the new community center. We have an aerobics room, meeting rooms, and you can just do about anything," Park and Recreation Coordinator Pat Austin says.

The new complex can accomidate just about anything and is referred to as one of the premiere community centers in Northeast Arkansas.

A much needed space for a growing community.

"When we got the old community center, that was built in 1969, we were very excited about that because we didn't have one, but we've outgrown it," Gaskill says.

There is no lack of space in the new community center which is expected to be completed by March.

"This building's about 52 thousand square feet. Then we have the aquatic center that just adds to it, but we're sitting on 33 acres here and every bit of it is covered with something," Austin says.

"The thing that I like about this recreational plan more than anything else that we've done is that every segment of our society, every age group can get something out of this. We left no one out," Gaskill says.