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Activity Center one step closer to reality

With the Oxford Planning Commission approving the site plan for a new activity center, the Oxford Park Commission is one step further along in the process of building the new facility and expanding services for Oxford and Lafayette County residents.

Based on the drawings and renderings, the new center will include a 1,585-square-foot fitness room, office space, as well as storage space for those using the gym.

A lounge that would include pool tables and other games to create a social atmosphere is also part of the base proposal. Alternate Plan A includes a walking track that would be constructed on the second floor above the proposed courts that can host basketball, volleyball and pickleball games on it.

The walking track could also be used as a viewing gallery when games are in session.

Basketball courts could be configured so that several different youth games could be played at one time.

Alternate Plan B includes enclosing the pavilion area to house the various gymnastics programs offered each year.

OPC originally had $8.5 million to work with —$7.5 million from the city and $1 million from the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors. However, the city will need to spend about $1 million more to cover the expense of removing trash from under the ground where the new activity center will sit.

Two new main entry drives will be off Price Street, with additional parking provided near the entrance. These will have a through connection to an entry off Molly Barr. A new courtyard area will connect the existing structure to the new facility.

The commission also granted OPC a variance from the stormwater standards. A retention pond would be too close to the road and using an underground storage system would require additional excavation of the landfill waste and would be difficult to monitor the integrity of the pipes and identify leaks.

The commission approved the variance and will allow for the runoff to be collected on the surface by curb and gutter and then directed to smaller, watertight pipes placed within areas being excavated for the building and parking lot and conveyed to existing off-site storm pipes.

Bids are expected to be taken in November with work starting in December of this year.