Bowling alley, kids’ entertainment center are coming

By Catharin Shepard • Staff writer • A “classy” bowling alley and a kids’ entertainment center are coming to Hoke County and will be built next to the James A. Leach Aquatics and Recreation Center on U.S. 401, a project representative said Monday.

“What we’re going to put there, and you’re going to be so proud of it, is a classy bowling alley,” Steve Phillips of J&K General Contractors said. “I mean upscale, nice family entertainment center. And then adjacent to that will be a children’s entertainment center for children’s activities, video games and stuff like that.”

The entertainment center will be like a kid-friendly version of the popular Dave and Buster’s, Phillips said.

“It will really be an asset to our county, especially out in that area where we’ve had explosive population growth,” Phillips said.

The topic came up as part of a public hearing held Monday night at the Hoke Board of Commissioners’ meeting. J&K General Contractors submitted a rezoning request to rezone an approximately 6.25-acre unaddressed parcel of land from Residential Agricultural (RA-20) to Highway Commercial (HC) in order to build the bowling alley.

The land is located next to the county property on U.S. 401 near Scull Road, where the James A. Leach Aquatics and Recreation Center is currently under construction.

The commissioners unanimously approved the rezoning request, and commented positively on the project.

Commissioner Tony Hunt pointed out the benefits to young student athletes who compete in the sport of bowling.

“Bringing a bowling alley to Hoke County would be tremendous not only for our youth but for our adults also. We do have a bowling team out at the high school, so it would be great for them to have a place that they can call home here in our county.”

Commission Chairman Harry Southerland agreed, saying that the bowling alley and kids’ entertainment center will be an “asset” for the county.

“As we grow we want to also bring some entertainment and some socialization into our community as well,” he said.

The project developer didn’t specify a timeline for when the construction will take place. The county is also continuing work on the “Grow Hoke” utility project, extending sewer lines to service the aquatics center and businesses along that stretch of U.S. 401. The board approved a change order and other paperwork Monday to keep Grow Hoke moving.

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