The new Roger Carter Community Center on Ellicot Mills Rd. is set to open this Saturday. On Monday morning, officials gave a tour of the $15 million facility.
The 46,000 square-foot center was built in tandem with the Burgess Mill Station community, a neighborhood of townhomes and apartments that consists of a mix of market-rate and below market-rate residences.
Inside, the community center was sparkling. The full-size indoor basketball court doesn't have a scuff, the exercise machines are unused and the pool lacks a leaf.
"I can't wait until Saturday morning," said County Executive Ken Ulman.
The facility features the following amenities:
- Six lane swimming pool with a retractable roof, diving area and wading pool. (Temperature kept at between 82 to 86 degrees)
- An indoor basketball court, with two volleyball courts painted on the court
- A two-lane 320-foot walking track above the basketball court
- Fitness room with fixed-weight machines, treadmills and eliptical bikes
- An aerobics room for group exercise
- A daycare/ preschool center
- Two community/ meeting rooms
- An outdoor basketball court
- A rock climbing wall
- A dedicated parking garage
An annual membership to the facility to use all the features, including the pool, costs $300 per year or $40 per month for people 13-59. The cost is less expensive for adults older than 60.
Nearby the center, the Burgess Mill Station community is creeping closer to capacity. Tom Carbo, the director of Howard County Housing, said of the 198 units available there are just 18 remaining to be leased.
Carbo said almost all of the 107 market rate units have been leased. In addition, the community has 45 units at 30 percent market rate, 40 at 50 percent and 6 at 60 percent.
Ulman said initially people questioned whether residents would be willing to pay full market rate to live next to or near people who are not paying market rate.
But citing the leasing figures, Ulman said, "This proves if you do a project at a high quality, it will work."
The design process for phase two and three of the Burgess Mill development is currently under way. Phase two will add 75 new units to where the old Roger Carter Community Center sits at the bottom of Ellicott Mills Dr. Phase three will develop Lot F with additional units and a 368-space parking garage.
The planned parking garage at Lot F will include 216 public spaces as well as 152 resident spaces, according Carbo.
Construction on those two phases is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2014, said Carbo.