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New recreation spot at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School

Posted on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 5:00 am

Jane Shelhorse, director of Louisa County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, tests out the Supernova, one of two unique pieces of equipment at the playground.

Jane Shelhorse, director of Louisa County Parks, Recreation and Tourism, tests out the Supernova, one of two unique pieces of equipment at the playground.

Basketball players young and old finally have a place to practice their craft.

The Louisa County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department and the Thomas Jefferson Health District just completed a project to re-purpose the dilapidated tennis courts at Thomas Jefferson Elementary for other recreational use.

“There was definitely a need,” Jane Shelhorse, director of LCPRT said. “People were always asking to use our gym, but our gym is always so busy, this will allow guys to do pick-up games.”

The project was funded by a grant from the Disease Control Prevention and Public Health Fund. The LCPT and the Thomas Jefferson Health District teamed up to secure two grants, totalling $56,145 as part of their Move to Health campaign.

The park now features four half-court basketball goals. Two of the baskets are seven-feet high and the others are high school and regulation height.

In addition, four pickleball courts surround the basketball courts in a diamond-shaped pattern, giving plenty of space for a variety of activities.

“The basis of the grant was to improve access to outdoor recreation facilities,” Shelhorse said. “We had very few basketball courts in the area, so we felt the need to transfer the tennis courts over. Now we have four basketball goals so the kids can enjoy.”

The pickleball courts are an added bonus, Shelhorse said.

“(Pickleball) is becoming very big in our area,” she said. “So we’re excited about having it.”

In addition, the grant helped fund two unique pieces, which of playground equipment to add to the experience.

The Supernova is a single piece of equipment with massive play value for one person or an entire group. The spinning wheel challenges users to keep their balance while spinning in clockwise or counter-clockwise rotations.

There’s also a Rope Parkour course, which features a bridge made of rope, designed to challenge users with independent discovery of skill, strength coordination and movement over different obstacles.

Read more in The Central Virginian’s August 15 issue.


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