Planning begins for Community Recreation Center at Preece Park

Published 9:06 am Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The City of Nicholasville and the Jessamine County Fiscal Court are looking into building a Community Recreation Center in Preece Park.

A Recreation Center Committee is working on plans for the facility, according to Nicholasville/Jessamine County Parks and Recreation Department Director Duane McCuddy.

“It is definitely in the exploratory stages,” he said of the proposed building. “Nothing has been set.”

If built, the center will be at Preece Park, near the site of an abandoned football field project, on about 20 acres.

“We’ve got some land in front of the recreation center,” he said. “We were going to build a new football field there 10 years ago or so. Some funding didn’t come through, so we put a stop to the project. We are hoping to get some money to finish that project also.”

The committee is currently trying to gain support from the City of Nicholasville and the Jessamine County Fiscal Court for the project, McCuddy said.

Both government entities fund the parks and recreation department, which operates recreational and cultural programs and maintains more than 15 parks, consisting of 250 acres.

“We have spoken with local folks about helping us with in-kind labor and even financial help. We’ve gotten some good responses,” he said. “We’re just going to try to make it happen.”

On Facebook, the city of Nicholasville posted early renderings of the planned building. McCuddy noted that the rendering gives people a sense of what the committee is looking for.

Preliminary plans include four basketball courts with a walking track above them. The area will have markings on the floor so the courts can be used for volleyball. There will also be pickle ball courts and concession stands.

“It can be used for indoor baseball practice,” McCuddy said or the basketball court area. “Nets for batting cages will come down from the roof.”

They also plan to put the parks and recreation department offices in the facility, as well as several all-purpose rooms for family reunions, birthday parties, etc.

“The community is in desperate shape for that,” McCuddy said.

There also has been talk about adding an indoor swimming pool, he said.

“We would definitely like to do that,” McCuddy said. “It’s a huge increase in the price, so I don’t know if we’ll be able to do that or not.”

The Recreation Center Committee will have another meeting, but McCuddy said he didn’t know when it would be held. More updates will be available on the City of Nicholasville and Recreation Department’s Facebook pages.

News contributor Nicole Bowman-Layton wrote this for the Jessamine Journal.