The Historic Triangle Recreational Facilities Authority (HTRFA) voted unanimously on Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022, to negotiate an interim agreement with MEB to design and build a regional indoor sports facility on property in the City of Williamsburg.
The Authority will consider approval of the interim agreement at the October meeting. The agreement allows the design work to begin. Architectural firms Clark Nexsen, Guernsey Tingle, and Timmons Group are part of the design-build team for this project. The indoor sports facility will be at least 160,000 square feet and include 12 basketball courts that can be converted to 24 volleyball courts and 36 pickleball courts.
Once an interim agreement is established, HTRFA will work with the team to create 30% of the design drawings. That level of detail allows the Authority to take all the operational materials, and aesthetic considerations into account and obtain meaningful project cost estimates. Concurrently, the Authority will finalize lease negotiations with Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for the land at the preferred site, property at 100 Visitor Center Drive.
The Authority expects to present a comprehensive agreement to the Williamsburg City Council, James City County Board of Supervisors, and York County Board of Supervisors in 2023. That agreement will include the final pricing and design elements of the sports facility.
HTRFA received two unsolicited proposals for a regional sports facility at its inaugural meeting in January 2022. The Authority began soliciting bids through the Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) in February. That process allowed HTRFA to choose its preferred proposal for designing and building a regional sports facility and to negotiate the contract. No viable proposals came through the bid process, so only the two unsolicited proposals were considered.
As part of the proposal review process, the Authority convened an advisory panel made up of regional stakeholders in the banking, tourism, and economic development industries.
HTRFA is a governing body made up of members of the three Historic Triangle localities – the chief executive and one additional staff member of the three localities – to oversee the regional indoor sports facility. The Authority is tasked with leasing the property, procuring the construction and financing for the project, and managing the operations of the facility once it has been constructed.