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Floyd County

August 9, 2008

Southern Indiana Sports Center has become a gem for New Albany

As two girls worked on their volleyball skills, a group of senior citizens walked the perimeter of the facility.

A typical day at the Southern Indiana Sports Center.

Since the center was given to the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Department by the Blue Sky Foundation in May 2006, it has played host to youth volleyball tournaments, tae kwon do events, and yes, walkers. And there has been an occasional birthday party.

“I had never seen a county like this have something like that,” said NA-FC Parks Superintendent Roger Jeffers when he saw the center for the first time. “I think it’s tremendous. In the six months since I have been here, I have seen a lot of activities in here.”

This summer, the parks department moved its main office from Ekin Avenue to the facility, which is located at 620 Park East Blvd. Better access and more parking were two of the reasons why the offices were moved.

But the offices aside, the center has four volleyball courts that can be transformed into basketball courts. It also has a weight room and an upstairs mezzanine for meetings or parties. Parks officials value the center at more than $2 million, but to those who use it regularly, it’s priceless.

“It’s a really nice place,” said New Albany resident Howard Lynch after finishing his walk Thursday morning. “I used to walk down at Ekin, but it’s a lot better here.”

Lynch is just one of 60 or so walkers who use the center regularly Monday through Friday. The center is usually closed on weekends except for rentals or special events.

“This is a great facility and a lot of people are taking advantage of it,” Jeffers said.

Like Lynch.

“I’ve been walking here since March,” he said. “They take care of everything.”

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