The city of Crestview is considering purchasing the ROC at Central Baptist. If the purchase is made, the facility could bring more recreational options for the city’s youth.
CRESTVIEW — A possible purchase by the city could turn into more recreation options for residents in Crestview.
The city is discussing purchasing the recreational outreach center, or the ROC, from Central Baptist Church.
Paul Mixon, pastor of Central Baptist Church, said talks of selling the facility began in August.
“We use the facility but not to its full potential,” Mixon said. “It would be a way for the city to have more availability to have things to do and also a way for the church to support and partner with the city.”
The facility, built in 1997, includes an Olympic-size pool, an exercise room, a gym with a basketball court, locker rooms with showers and a racquetball court.
City Manager Tim Bolduc said he wasn’t really looking for a gym and pool, but he is always open to ways to better serve the community.
“One of the shortcomings we have right now is that we only have one gym and it currently has no air conditioning,” Bolduc said. “This would allow us to extend the after-school basketball program and look at bringing in volleyball.”
Kay Smith, who currently teaches swim lessons at the ROC, would like to see the pool at the facility used for swim leagues for middle-schoolers and high schoolers. She has been speaking to coworkers about the idea and how to make it happen.
“I have not talked to the city yet,” Smith said. “I want to see if more kids would want to do it.”
Brad Kale, head coach of Coast Aquatics, has been in the area for 10 years. The Coast Aquatics teams have used pools in other surrounding areas, but Kale would like to see Crestview join in.
“In the area where we live, surrounded by water, it’s vital for the community and children to learn to swim and be safe in an aquatic environment,” Kale said.
Coast Aquatics has a summer league consisting of teams from around the area. This past season, a team from Crestview began swimming in the league.
According to Kale, there was a coach a few years ago from Crestview who discussed the possibility of a satellite program in the city, but the discussion did not go very far. Kale said now is as good a time as any to make it happen.
“Crestview is a big community and it’s growing fast so I think it would be fantastic,” Kale said. “It’s the perfect introduction to kids who may want to swim in high school, middle school or in a swim club.”
Kale believes that learning to swim and joining a league are not the only benefits.
“It’s nice to give kids another athletic opportunity out there,” Kale said "Not everyone is a basketball or baseball star.“