This is the last #50at50 park blog and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting out to visit so many “new to me” parks during the past year. I was super excited when I received an invitation to attend the grand opening of the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex in Goldsboro that was held on April 23rd. I have been holding this post to complete this series as it brings me back to the beginning of my love of parks.
I grew up in the Rosewood Community of Wayne County and the parks I visited as a kid were in Goldsboro. My first park and recreation job was in Goldsboro as the director of the Fun Bunch Day Camp. This camp is still offered today with some of the same activities I helped provide like bowling and swimming. Today, I am excited to share with you the newest park in Goldsboro, the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex.
Goldsboro is the home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (SJAFB) and the Bryan Multi-Sports Complex is a unique partnership between the city and the base to provide recreational activities. During the grand opening, the Honorable John Henderson, Assistant Secretary of U.S. Air Force Installations, spoke of how this is the first joint P4 partnership between a military base and its home community. This complex will serve as the model for other communities. The 62-acre park was constructed and paid for by the city, with a $3 million loan from Wayne County government and a $3 million voter-approved bond. The development was made possible following a 20-year lease agreement between the city and the U.S. Air Force, which allows the city to develop and maintain the site on base property. As part of the agreement, the city will be paying for a 2,500-square-foot addition to the base's main fitness center.
How do two agencies like a local parks and recreation department and the U.S. Air Force share a facility? Some examples include daily PT, military ceremonies, overflow parking for large events on base, and youth soccer tournaments that will generate tourist spending. As you drive into the park, the first thing I noticed was a plane mounted on a pedestal and this is no ordinary plane. It is a 4E Phantom that was assigned to and remained a part of the 334th Eagles Fighter Squadron at SJAFB from 1977 to 1990 and was the last operational F-4E to serve at the base. The natural area under the plane will soon be designed to look like a soccer ball.
When you partner with the U.S. Air Force, it is only natural to have a flyover by two F-15E Strike Eagles as part of your dedication. Park visitors will have the opportunity to see Air Force fighter jets fly over, as part of daily routines, exercises, and missions. Even though I grew up getting to experience the rumble and thrill of jets as they pass overhead, I’m excited visitors to this complex will get to experience it as well.
The Bryan Multi-Sport Complex has eight multi-sports fields, including two with artificial turf, a concessions stand, walking trails, restrooms, and lots of paved parking. Future additions include a playground, covered picnic shelters and a splash pad. The next time you are heading east, I recommend exiting the Highway 70 bypass and stopping a few moments to enjoy the jets flying overhead and check out this park. More information can be found online at http://www.goldsboroparksandrec.com/rec-centers/multisportscomplex/
So what is next? Stay tuned for a special announcement because it really is about a Lifetime of Discovery!