City leaders hope recreation center boosts tourism

Updated: Jan. 12, 2017 at 5:22 PM CST
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BATESVILLE, AR (KAIT) - Once the new Batesville Community Center and Aquatics Facility is open, city officials hope it will drive more tourism to Independence County.

The facility is in the final phase of construction and should be open to the public by late March or early April.

Batesville Tourism Director Kyle Christopher said the center will give citizens a better quality of life as well as the opportunity to host larger conferences and events in the city.

"We've already got some big conferences, sports shows, things like that already in the books," Christopher said. "We're starting to get some swim meets and hopefully basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments, get those on the books as well."

The community center includes basketball and volleyball courts, several meeting rooms, a full-sized gym and wait room, two indoor pools, and an indoor water attraction for children.

The outside aquatics area includes two water slides, a lazy river, and a zip line.

The $22 million project is funded by a recreation tax that voters passed in 2012.

"The people of Batesville coming together and voting this in and having the forethought to do something like this that will boost our economy, this is an amazing accomplishment for a town with 10,300 people," Batesville Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Owens said.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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