Randy Guthrie, Assistant City Manager
Kim Best, Director of Public & Government Affairs
SSgt Michael Charles, Public Affairs Specialist
The City of Goldsboro, NC, and United States Air Force are partnering together to finalize a lease agreement for the P4 initiative’s construction of the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base-Goldsboro Multi-Sports Complex.
A P4 initiative refers to opportunities and agreements to share resources and responsibilities among government and private entities to reach common goals or provide mutual support. Partnerships can be regional or local in scope with a varied focus, including municipal services, health services, facilities, work force, education, transportation, land use, etc. In the current fiscal environment, partnerships are pathways to innovation that reduce the cost of doing business, sustain quality of life and enhance mission effectiveness. This P4 collaboration between the City of Goldsboro and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base is part of a pilot project to share resources and responsibilities among government and private entities to reach common goals or provide mutual support.
The City of Goldsboro proposes to lease a 62.35 acre property, located off Oak Forest Road, from the United States Air Force to be used for a multi-sports complex. It will serve the Goldsboro, SJAFB and Wayne County community as the premier practice, game and tournament venue for youth and adult soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, and ultimate frisbee. The facilities will be the crown jewel of the Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department and the joint sports leagues of the Family YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, and SJAFB Athletics Department.
The plans include the construction of 8 full size illuminated multi-sports fields, parking, restrooms, walking trails and concession facilities. Initial construction will include 6 natural and 2 artificial turf fields with future expansion planned for up to eight artificial turf fields. A new perimeter fence will be constructed on the boundary of the secured perimeter of SJAFB in order to maintain the integrity of the installation’s security. The City of Goldsboro Parks and Recreation Department will maintain the facilities and schedule events at the complex. Proposed tournament events are planned for this facility that will stimulate the economy, encourage new investment and provide recreation, entertainment and shopping options for the citizens of Goldsboro, Wayne County and SJAFB.
The construction of the Multi-Sports Complex will allow the Goldsboro community access to higher quality game and practice fields that offer a safer all weather playing surface that is available year round. This proposed complex is conveniently accessible from Highway 70, Ash Street and from SJAFB and will provide safe illuminated playing facilities for everyone in our community. Access to these facilities will assist with an active living lifestyle that will help prevent obesity, diabetes and other ailments associated with not being active. This complex will also provide a high quality sports facility that should be able to recruit many tournaments that will boost our already growing sports related tourism industry. There are very few complexes similar in eastern North Carolina that can provide the quality of playing fields and convenient location that this proposed complex will provide. Tournament and out of town guests that would travel to our facility would generate an estimated $473,000 of annual sales tax revenue that could be used to fund other community priorities. In addition, Tournament play would also generate an estimated $177,000 of annual occupancy tax revenue that could be used to fund tourism related activities and services that would improve the quality of life for the citizens of Goldsboro and SJAFB.
In 2013, travel generated over $147.46 million in economic impact to Goldsboro and Wayne County. Over 1000 jobs were filled, contributing $19.06 million in payroll. State and local tax revenues amounted to $11.11 million. With sporting events and tournaments, there is the unique opportunity to increase current economic impact by attracting teams, family members and spectators to the community. Goldsboro Travel & Tourism, in partnership with Goldsboro Parks & Recreation, YMCA and the University of Mount Olive (UMO) have vast experience with sporting events. For over 25 years, the YMCA has hosted 26 annual swim meets, generating over $200,000 in yearly revenue for the community. UMO has hosted multiple NCAA competitions for baseball and basketball. The Tourism and Parks & Recreation departments have successfully recruited and hosted state championships for ACO (American Cornhole Association), USTA (United States Tennis Association), cycling events, soccer events, disc golf events and many other sporting competitions. In 2014, over $3,000,000 was generated from sporting events.
The Proposed Multi-Sports P4 Initiative will help support the mission through improved recreational facilities. As part of the consideration for the lease of this property, within a 2 year timeframe, the City of Goldsboro plans to construct a 2,500 to 3,000 square foot addition to the existing SJAFB Fitness Center. The addition, which will be for group fitness activities and exercise equipment space, will be one story to match the adjacent main lobby. It will have sports floors throughout and a foldable partition wall to divide the space. Access from both the main lobby and though the adjacent gym will be provided. The construction will be a reinforced concrete foundation with painted load bearing exterior walls. The fitness center addition will include 2 separate roof air conditioning units and will include all applicable fire suppression and alarm notification devices. The estimated value of this renovation is approximately $600,000.The city anticipates signing a lease with the US Air Force this summer (2015) and finalizing the design in the fall of 2015. Phase I of construction is estimated to be completed by the fall of 2016.
“Our strong partnerships with Goldsboro and Wayne County make Seymour Johnson Air Force Base a perfect example of how positive collaboration between Airmen and the neighboring communities can strengthen the quality of life of the region. The Air Force is always working with community leaders to expand these relationships and seek mutually beneficial ways to improve the community. This initiative is another opportunity to do just that. By engaging with public and private sector partners, our team was able to identify a way to support the community’s interests and sustain quality of life programs for Airmen assigned to the installation and their families,” stated Col. Mark Slocum, 4th Fighter Wing commander, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.
Seymour Johnson AFB is one of 16 test bases in the Air Force for this initiative. Others include Altus, Beale, Buckley, Ellsworth, Fairchild, Hill, Joint Base Andrews, Maxwell, Moody, Nellis, Patrick, Peterson, Robins, Sheppard and Tinker Air Force Bases.