Dating back to 2010 with a series of community surveys, the citizens of Watauga County voiced support for the building of a new recreation center. Careful planning in the development, design and construction was put forth and a beautiful new facility was completed and ready for a grand opening this past spring. Fast-forward seven months through pandemic chaos and the highly anticipated rec facility is still not in use.

Pools and athletic facilities throughout the high country and North Carolina have been open for over a month with public health modifications in place. Still… our beautiful new facility remains closed.

The WHS Swim Team has been notified that students will need to travel (in their own cars) to the Avery County YMCA to hold practices for the second year in a row. Youth basketball teams are practicing in rented facilities in remote gyms. Still… our beautiful new facility remains closed.

State of the art equipment is installed and becoming out of date by the day. Still… our beautiful facility remains closed.

The list could go on. Will this facility open anytime soon? Will current county leadership make this happen or will we have to wait for newly elected leaders who are committed to finally opening the doors and welcoming the citizens of Watauga County?

Mary Sheryl Horine


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