Oxford considers Activity Center alternative

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – The Oxford Park Commission discussed Monday whether The Skate Place, an 18,000-square-foot building near the city limits on South Lamar Boulevard, would suit a need to expand commission facilities.
Executive Director Rob Boy said in a special meeting, “Space is a valuable commodity for us. I hate to think we’d look back three or four or five years down the road and say, ‘man, we should have taken advantage of that opportunity.’”
Commissioners and staff members discussed several aspects of whether the building is practical.
Its 13-foot ceiling peak would preclude basketball and volleyball, and its pool seemed to be more liability than asset. It would require two lifeguards and would not lend itself to her program’s senior aquatic exercise classes.
“If that pool were usable for us, I’d say, ‘Get us out there,’” said Deb Helms, who oversees senior programs.
Commission Chair Marvin King had reservations about ongoing costs but added that moving some programs to The Skate Place facility would free new space at the Activity Center.
Several members mentioned that bus service would have to be extended to provide access for most Oxford youths.
Commissioner Rhea Tannehill asked, “Would we be better served to wait until we can build an activity center all in one place?”
Staffers will provide layouts of both buildings for more detailed consideration when the Commission reconvenes for its April 10 meeting.
errol.castens@journalinc.com