Paving, other details delay Zoo City Sportsplex’s grand opening in Asheboro

ASHEBORO – The grand opening for the Zoo City Sportsplex has been postponed because of construction delays.

“Anything of this size, you’re going to run into some issues and might have some delays,” said Jonathan Sermon, who’s recreation services director for the City of Asheboro.

The grand opening had been scheduled for this week, but that won’t happen based on last week’s announcement from the city.

“The project team and the city’s contractors have been working diligently to ready the facility for its formal opening,” the city’s statement said. “Unfortunately, labor and material shortages combined with significant construction activity in the Piedmont Triad Region, have prevented paving from being finished in time for the ceremony. This delay is beyond everyone’s control and we continue to work with our partners to prepare the site for this exciting milestone.”

Parts of the new facility have been in use for weeks.

Sermon said more paving is needed before big crowds are attracted to the sportsplex.

“We were hoping the entire thing would be paved by now,” he said.

All the paving is nearly complete in the upper part of the park. Paving hasn’t begun in the lower level.

When complete, there should be about 800 parking spots, Sermon said. A paving project in the Mebane area has delayed the availability of crews working on the Asheboro park, he said.

It’s still a construction site during the days. The park has been open for some activities beginning late in the afternoons.

The Randolph-Asheboro YMCA is holding sessions for its challenge soccer program at the sportsplex, while youth football teams have been using the facility as well. Uwharrie Charter Academy is renting the main soccer field for boys’ games this season.

The sportsplex, which is located along Old Cox Road and Zoo Parkway, is designed to accommodate an array of sports (football, lacrosse, soccer) and recreational activities. It’s comprised of approximately 100 acres and comes with a price tag that has grown above $15 million.

Other aspects of the park also are nearing completion.

“There’s still a lot of little projects to get wrapped up,” Sermon said.

Painting should be close to completion on pickleball courts. Volleyball equipment that was supposed to arrive last week for the sand courts has been delayed.

Sermon said some walking trails have been open. The dog park is fenced, but there’s other work to do in that area.

The official grand opening will be rescheduled. That date depends on the progress.

If the paving project is completed in the next few weeks, the grand opening could come this fall. Otherwise, Sermon said, it might be moved to the spring.

“It all hinges on this paving,” Sermon said.

A “Business After Hours” gathering as part of Asheboro/Randolph Chamber was to be part of this week’s grand opening.

By Bob Sutton