For some time, York County had realized a need for additional recreational facilities - mainly for softball and soccer - and thanks to VRA, they made this a reality. A 13-field athletic complex was completed in the spring of 2009 to include five youth baseball fields, one adult baseball field, one adult softball field, four regulation soccer fields and three instructional soccer fields. This complex not only brings the county's residents together but also helps fuel tourism by attracting participants from throughout Hampton Roads.
This project is not just about athletic competition, it is also an important social hub for the local community that provides a "town square" atmosphere where York County families can gather and visit.
York County is leasing watershed property next to Mill Reservoir from the City of Newport News. The county has a 40-year lease with an automatic 40-year renewal. As the land is not suitable for development, a parks and recreation facility is ideal.
York County was a first-time borrower with VRA, taking advantage of the recently-new project area of parks and recreation. In many ways, this project is representative of the innovative financing programs that Mary Barnes helped pioneer.
Carol White, the Director of Financial and Management Services for York County, said it was the perfect fit. "It's a win-win situation for all of us," said White. "It fills a need that we've had for some time for youth and adult league play. In addition there are walking trails, so it's a park for everyone to enjoy."
The funding was made possible through infrastructure revenue bonds sold in VRA's Pooled Financing Program.