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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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New parks director ‘just likes it here’
Paul Chapman moved his family from Roanoke to Callaway
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Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston: Paul Chapman is the new director of Franklin County parks and recreation.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Paul Chapman is the new director of Franklin County Parks and Recreation.

Chapman, originally from Roanoke, has family in Franklin County and "just likes it here."

"I grew up playing sports all the time," said Chapman. "I played tee ball, football and went mountain biking as a child. I have always loved outdoor recreation."

Chapman earned his bachelor's degree in sociology from Bridgewater College. He spent time in AmeriCorps, volunteering in recreation.

Later, he received his master's degree in environmental science from Virginia Commonwealth University.

He became the outdoor recreation coordinator for Roanoke City Parks and Recreation immediately after finishing his education and worked there until taking over the Franklin County director position from Mike Burnette in late March.

Burnette is now Franklin County's director of economic development.

"My position at Roanoke City Parks and Rec dealt more with solely outdoor recreation," said Chapman. "As the Franklin County director, I get to handle all sorts of different aspects of parks and recreation, from special events to maintenance and grounds."

Chapman said he is very excited about the county's recent acquisition of the YMCA and its use by parks and recreation.

"The YMCA Essig Center is becoming the new site for several parks and recreation activities," said Chapman. "Now, we won't have to hold art classes in the press box at Waid Park or ballet classes under the picnic shelter. We can hold them at the Essig Center."

The new rec programs at the Essig Center are projected to be up and running by fall of this year, Chapman said.

Chapman said he thinks Franklin County parks and its facilities are by far nicer than some he has seen in neighboring areas.

"I am very excited about upcoming plans for the county and for the upcoming rec center at the YMCA," said Chapman. "I love providing services for the public."

Chapman resides in Callaway with his wife, Tara. They have two boys, Parker, 8, and Eli, 5.

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