Kent County and The Greater Dover Boys & Girls Club hope to team up to construct the Kent County Recreation Complex, a 75,000-square-foot athletic facility on New Burton Road.
The property is owned by the county and adjoins Brecknock Park. Including parking, landscaping and the building itself, the facility will sit on about seven acres of the 53-acre tract. The facility would serve the needs of both organizations.
"There are certain efficiencies gained by combining the spaces," said County Administrator Michael Petit De Mange. "If we built two separate buildings, common things would be needed."
The portion of the building known as the "field house" would be a 40,000-square-foot indoor sports complex, owned by the county. It will be used to host community field hockey, soccer, basketball and volleyball games for both youth and adult leagues.
The Boys & Girls Club portion of the complex will be housed in a separate building, connected by a breezeway. Their facility will take up around 35,000 square feet. As far as ownership of the building goes, the two parties have set up a condominium-type ownership system.
"We've set up unit properties," said Petit De Mange. "This enables portions of a building to be deeded to separate owners without subdividing the land."
According to Petit De Mange, if one party decides to vacate their portion of the complex, the other party will be given first right to purchase it.
Funding remains an issue
At the March 5 Kent County Levy Court meeting, the Boys & Girls Club asked the county for up to $600,000 in funding to put toward its half of the project.
At a Kent County Levy Court meeting on March 5, Ed Dulin, the chairman of the Boys & Girls Club's Capital Campaign Committee, reported that the organization has received pledges or donations of $1.2 million. The organization is expecting another $225,000 to come in from private donors but is fearful it will fall short of the $2 million it needs to break ground.
Kent County Commissioner Bradley Eaby said the county had already made significant contributions to the project.
"We recognize the importance that the Boys and Girls club in the state of Delaware provides and we've demonstrated that," Eaby said. "The county has donated the land of considerable value and will be providing the maintenance interior and exterior on an ongoing basis, which has a significant value. I just wanted to make those comments so you understand we are assisting."
The land would remain under county ownership, but made available to the Boys & Girls Club for the facility, De Mange later clarified. If the funding issues are resolved, Petit De Mange said he anticipates construction could begin in early 2014.
The Levy Court was non-committal about being able to offer additional resources, indicating only that they'd have to review their budget.
"Forgive me for not understanding what we were doing tonight…the only thing I had for the Boys & Girls club was just an update on your progress," said Commissioner Eric Buckson. "…At the end of the meeting you requested for us to support the capital campaign to the tune of about $500,000. My apologies, I didn't know that was coming."