Chesterfield County borrowed $9.86 million from the 2017C Virginia Pooled Financing Program (VPFP) to partially fund three key projects that will benefit County residents for years to come. The three projects include significant enhancements to the River City Sportsplex athletic facility, a new Chesterfield Center for the Arts and an HVAC replacement project.
River City Sportsplex is a 12-field synthetic turf complex that is owned and operated by Chesterfield County. The complex serves as a convenient location for athletes to compete in a variety of sports, such as field hockey, lacrosse and soccer. The complex provides a major economic boost to both the County and the region. Chesterfield estimates that the complex generates a regional economic impact of $50 million annually, a figure that will increase with the new improvements.
From the VPFP loan proceeds, $4.6 million dollars will be used for the River City Sportsplex improvement project. These funds will address various upgrades to the complex, including adding paved parking spaces, improved restroom facilities, more lighting and new equipment and building a turn lane on Genito Road. Construction is expected to start in May 2018 and is projected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.
The County recognizes the importance of this facility as an asset that benefits the quality of life for County residents and also provides significant economic development value. In commenting on VRA's role in enhancing this key County asset, Allan Carmody, Chesterfield's Finance Director said,"Chesterfield County has enjoyed the accessibility and cost effectiveness of VRA's Virginia Pooled Financing Program. The program helped the County to implement facility upgrades like lighting improvements and road improvements at one of our most unique public facilities, River City Sportsplex. Those improvements, financed through VPFP, will enhance the sustainability of the facility which has become the cornerstone of the County's sports tourism program - which generated, in 2017 alone, $81.7 million in economic impact to the Richmond Region and hosted 59,400 visitors in Chesterfield County."
The VPFP loan proceeds also will be used to construct a new Chesterfield Center for the Arts. Much like the upgrades to the River City Sportsplex complex, this project also signals the importance County leaders place on providing resources that make Chesterfield such an attractive place to live, work and play.
The Chesterfield Center for the Arts, to be located adjacent to the Chester Library, will serve a variety of purposes and roles. Its key function will be as a theater for youth and adult programs, but the facility also will be able to accommodate lectures and symposia, musical and theatrical presentations, as well as provide multi-purpose rooms and classrooms for business and community meetings. A non-profit foundation, the Chesterfield Cultural Arts Foundation, will operate the Center on behalf of the County.