CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WHAS11) – For more than a decade, Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall has talked about bringing a youth and family sports facility to town. Now, his dream is moving closer to becoming a reality.
“We’re all about families and a family and youth sports complex is something that’s been on our radar for that long,” he said.
"There's always some great nostalgia of being in your parks or your neighborhoods, but the youth sports world is changing,” Charlestown Director of Youth and Family Sports Kristin Cox said. “People want more stuff. They want more resources."
The city of Charlestown has been working with Klipsch-Card Athletic Facilities LLC, a second-year company based out of Westfield, Indiana, with plans of building a youth sports complex in town.
"Everything Charlestown does, we always in our decisions or policies put Mom and Dad and kids in the middle of it and say, 'How does this support them?'" Hall said.
According to Hall, the city council approved $60,000 to fund a study to determine what the sports facility will need and where it will be located.
"It's not whether it's going to happen in Charlestown,” he said. “It's what size it's going to be? What do we need to build to meet the needs of not just Charlestown, but do we want it to be a regional asset as well?"
This project is something Cox has been very passionate about. Cox is a University of Louisville Hall of Fame basketball player who began her athletic career on the hardwood in Charlestown.
"Growing up in Charlestown and playing youth sports myself, those were all my memories,” she said.
She said while the sports facility will help stimulate economic growth by attracting businesses and visitors to the area, more importantly, it will give children a chance to stay active.
“I have three kids myself and I want to make sure they’re getting those opportunities,” she said. “And it’s not about necessarily becoming these unbelievable successful athletes. We want them to lead these healthy lifestyles.”
Cox said the only indoor basketball facility in Charlestown is at the schools, but those are often already being used. She said kids would have to play in the parks or in the driveways.
She said the facility would also help attract other events, like professional basketball camps.
"I would have loved that as a kid to be able to have the Indiana Pacers doing a camp in your gym or doing a workout,” she said.
"When we grow up, what's Charlestown going to grow up to be? And this is a huge piece in that,” Hall said.
Hall said the study should take 120 days, but expects it to be finished earlier than expected. He said if everything goes according to schedule, the facility could be completed as early as late 2018.