A better explanation is needed on the course

Published 4:23 pm Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Farmville community needs and deserves more information and explanation on Longwood University’s decision to close its 9-hole golf course to the public.

Though membership at the course stands at under 100 people — including about a dozen Longwood students — the decision to close the course to the public was not a “financial one,” said Dr. Tim Person, Longwood’s vice president for student affairs.

Why then close the course to the community?

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In Longwood’s master plan, the document and its supporters said that repurposing the course was a long-range possibility, not one that would be made and announced within months of the debut of the plan to the public.

“There’s just a ton of things we could do conceivably,” Justin Pope, the chief of staff to university President W. Taylor Reveley IV, said of the course on Johnston Street.

“You could imagine an outdoor theatre, biking trails. We’re committed to maintaining it as a public resource in the sense (that it remains) a place where the community can make use of it. …”

It seems like the unexpected announcement to close the course to the public, without clarifying the university’s long-range intentions, goes against the grain of making the property “a place where the community can make use of it.”

We’re not taking a position on whether or not the course should close to the public or stay open. What we’re saying is that the community deserves a more thorough explanation as to why the course is closing to the public.

The outcry has been loud since the announcement of the closure. What would be even louder is Longwood’s explanation of the decision based on the interpretation of its master plan and role in the community.