On May 29th, work began on a National Cycling Center in Downtown Winston-Salem. Located at 505 North Liberty Street, renovation of the 42,000 sq. ft. building will cost $6 to 8 million and is anticipated to be completed in eleven to twelve months.
“Significant interest and curiosity has swirled around the development phase of this project for several months,” said Dr. Richard Rauck, who serves as chair of the National Cycling Center and Winston-Salem Cycling Classic. “The day has finally arrived, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for the future of cycling in this community. With the National Cycling Center and next spring’s world-class cycling competition, Winston-Salem will become the premier cycling city in America. We’re going to work very hard to have the Cycling Center renovation completed just in time for the races next May.”
The National Cycling Center will include 10 double-occupancy rooms on the upper level that can be used as housing for teams from across the country that will come to Winston-Salem to train. It also will house state-of-the-art cycling training equipment, a meeting room, open kitchen and lounge areas, as well as laundry facilities and study areas for young athletes who may be in school while training. Support spaces on the lower building levels will include offices, exam rooms and a metabolic testing lab. Bike storage and maintenance spaces will be accommodated on the Main Street level.
The National Cycling Center would be designated as an official training site for USA Cycling. Additionally, Winston-Salem Cycling, the organization leading the establishment of the National Cycling Center, is still optimistic the site will receive designation as a United States Olympic Committee (USOC) training site for cycling.
Rauck said funds exist to cover the building renovation and that the National Cycling Center, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, will begin a capital campaign in October to generate approximately $5 million for renovation of the training site, additional training equipment, and for ongoing support. He said funding for the Cycling Center also is being sought from sources outside of the Winston-Salem area.
“Projections are that the building renovation will cost between $6 and 8 million. The cost range is partly dependent on whether the historic tax credit will be available,” he added. “The historic tax credits make it possible to preserve and reuse wonderful old buildings. It would have been considerably less expensive to demolish the building and construct from the ground up, but we didn’t think that was the right thing to do for our downtown.”
“We’ve very conservatively projected the financial operation of the Cycling Center and are fully confident that it will be a sustainable and profitable project,” Rauck added. “Income for the building will be generated on an ongoing basis from teams that use it for training and housing. There also will be space in the building available for lease. We hope to see a medical presence on the Liberty Street level and perhaps an upscale bar, restaurant or brewpub on the Main Street level.”
Rauck and other local cycling enthusiasts are pursuing an additional Olympic designation for the National Cycling Center to become a Community Olympic Development Program (CODP). There are eleven CODP institutions across America – none of which is cycling specific – that serve as outreach programs for the U.S. Olympic Committee.
“Getting the CODP designation would be a wonderful addition to the National Cycling Center,” Rauck said. “CODP centers exist to look for young talent and train athletes who may later become Olympians. They have a particular interest in working with diverse socio-economic groups who may have incredibly talented children but not have the resources required to train them for the highest levels of athletic competition.”
Rauck said that he and others already have reached out to community institutions such as Winston-Salem State University and the Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma that may be logical partners for the CODP and that the response thus far has been extremely positive. CODP designation is viewed as a step toward the National Cycling Center becoming an official U.S. Olympic Committee site.
“As a CODP center, the facility would have the Olympic rings attached to it,” Rauck said. “Similar to a Olympic cycling training site designation, we’re pursing Olympic designation as part of the CODP program and remain optimistic and hopeful.”