Chelsea aims to open new community center in December

Published 3:47 pm Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Chelsea Community Center is now scheduled to open in December after telephone lines are installed and a Certificate of Occupancy is obtained. (File)

The Chelsea Community Center is now scheduled to open in December after telephone lines are installed and a Certificate of Occupancy is obtained. (File)


CHELSEA – Two major capital projects in Chelsea continue to move forward, and city leaders expect one to be completed by December.

Another bid opening for the Chelsea Sports Complex located off Shelby County 11 will be held Nov. 5, and despite unexpected delays, the Chelsea Community Center project is currently on schedule to wrap up in the next couple of months, according to city leaders.

“It’s coming along, but it’s coming slowly,” Chelsea City Councilwoman Juanita Champion said of the community center at an Oct. 20 meeting.

Champion said telephone lines need to be installed, and the city must receive a Certificate of Occupancy for the building, located off Shelby County 47, before it opens to the public.

Champion said exercise equipment has been installed at the center and “really looks good.”

Equipment includes three treadmills, three bicycles and three elliptical machines.

Initially scheduled to open this summer, the roughly 30,000-square-foot building features a gymnasium with a 300-person seating capacity and an overhead walking track; dining, group activity and exercise rooms outfitted with televisions; a reception area and director’s office; a children’s nursery; and an outdoor patio and recreation area.

Furniture throughout the building includes three 6-foot tables, two 8-foot tables, four 6-foot tables, two credenzas, a hutch, three desks, a legal-size fireproof file cabinet and other file cabinets.

During a brief tour after a council meeting Sept. 1, Mayor Earl Niven said he would like to have a mural depicting scenes in Chelsea painted on the front wall of the foyer.

Regarding the sports complex, a bid opening for the concession stand was rescheduled from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. at Chelsea City Hall.

The council awarded other bids for the first phase of the complex at a Sept. 15 meeting.

The council voted to accept the lowest and best bid of $1,133,187 from Coston General Contractors for Phase 1, in addition to $11,500 for decorative fencing at the site’s entrance, and the lowest and best bid of $348,150 from Titan Electric for lighting and electrical components.

The $1.1 million bid from Coston covers the paving of about 220 parking spaces and three baseball fields.

According to Niven, the city has earmarked $64,000 for capital expenses like the sports complex as a result of a 1-percent sales tax increase enacted in August 2014.

“We borrowed $6 million. Our monthly payment on that now is $36,000, and $64,000 is the amount left over after our mortgage payment,” Niven explained Sept. 15. “We put that in the capital expense account. It is additional money that goes in that fund to pay off capital investment.”

The city aims to have the first phase completed by May 2016.

Future phases of the project at the 105-acre site call for five additional ball fields, six competitive tennis courts, a playground area, a walking trail and a 5-acre lake.