Basketball courts

Henrico executives dedicate new state-of-the-art basketball courts

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) – The Fairfield community of Henrico comes alive with the completion of a state-of-the-art basketball court near Fairfield Middle School.

Leaders of Henrico County and Parks & Recreation dedicated the new land with a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon. The approximately $600,000 project was designed by Fairfield County Supervisor Tyrone Nelson.

“The sky’s the limit when you’re investing in the type of investment that we’re putting in here,” Nelson said. “We just don’t have that in east Henrico.”

Before construction began last August, there was only a small concrete volleyball slab without a net. There are now four courts with red and blue acrylic covering, built to college, WNBA and NBA standards. The courts also have LED lighting to illuminate the entire space.

“Appearance matters, architecture matters. We want things to look good,” said Parks & Rec director Patrick Nalley.

Nalley says many of the finishing touches, like the netting, were added the morning of the signing, and the paint and bleachers were finished less than a week ago.

“We need to install signs and we will probably install more bleachers,” Nalley said. “We just wanted to open it up, have the kids play on it, and we’ll see the other details later.”

The courthouse is just one of the county’s recent outdoor projects. Nelson says the county just completed construction of a new $4 million baseball facility in Dorey Park. Plans are also underway for a new family park known as Taylor Park. Nelson thought the basketball courts would be a perfect fit for the Fairfield neighborhood.

Nelson says several community leagues play inside the gymnasium at Fairfield Middle School. Now, he believes they will have the opportunity to grow with the number of outdoor courts and eventually attract other community leagues from different localities.

“It also adds to our young people to see that we can have great things here at Henrico. It’s top notch!” Nelson said. “I would put this place against any other outdoor location in our area. air.

Although the courts have officially opened for play, he says it may still be a few weeks before they have all amenities completed.

Nelson says the entire project took nearly two years of planning, from concept to completion.

Even with the rain, the community wasted no time breaking the nets. Shortly after, 3-on-3 pick-up games broke out between the Henrico County Police Department and the fire department. There were also several children and teenagers practicing shooting at one of the multiple goals.

Nelson says he wants the pitch to be a space where young people can feel proud to play and feel safe. Like so many communities, this one has not been spared the violence. According to Henrico police, of the 13 homicides at Henrico so far in 2022, three minors have also been killed by gun violence, including two basketball stars at Highland Springs and Henrico high schools.

“I hope this helps build relationships,” Nelson said. “I’m sure Jahiem Dickerson and Diamond Brown would be playing here on the pitch this summer, and I hope their friends and community find some comfort in coming here and playing the game they love.”

Plans are underway to start community youth leagues and adult leagues next summer. Until Parks & Rec establishes official hours, people can use the grounds until the lights go out at 10 p.m.

“We want to schedule as much as possible, but we also want it to be just open where the kids can come and play ball – play all day if they want to,” Nelson said. “It’s to get them out of the house and out of the street.”

As of 7 p.m. Thursday, all four courts were in use by members of the community.

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