Athletic complex proposal advances

Carson City will move forward with a plan to build a Multi-Purpose Athletic Complex on the site where a $12 million recreation center was planned years ago.

Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf will look into redesigning a portion of the plan presented Thursday to the board of supervisors.

He said his staff started looking into a phased approach because the city was not in a financial position to build the original design.

Through surveys and discussions, the city has determined that the most critical indoor recreation need is additional gym space to expand current sports programs and provide community programming for high school-aged youths.

"The 2010 survey showed that teens were the highest priority, with 34 percent," Moellendorf said. "We can't expand our programming because there is no space."

The proposal calls for a 33,000-square-foot complex including two full-sized gyms adjacent to the Boys & Girls Club on Russell Way. The complex would not interfere with plans for the original proposed recreation center, and would include a lobby that would be shared by both whenever funds are available to build the rec center.

The complex will be large enough to host basketball, soccer and futsal, an indoor soccer game.

At Supervisor Molly Walt's suggestion, Moellendorf said he would look into having the complex designed a little wider so there would be more room for the courts and surrounding space.

"We can expand it, but it comes with a cost," he said.

Preliminary cost estimates put the project at about $4.5 million, with $165,000 in annual operation and maintenance costs.

Construction costs would be paid from the $6 million available in the Q-18 Quality of Life fund. The remaining $1.5 million in that fund could then be used for improvements to other city recreation facilities, Moellendorf said.

The complex also would offer a suspended upper-level, three-lane walking track which would be about a tenth of a mile. And the lower level would include enough bleachers and seating for 600 people.

Use of the courts would be programmed, he said, but track use would be drop-in. The complex would be shared with the Boys & Girls Club, with the city using it 50 hours a week and the club using it 20 hours weekdays. It would only be staffed during scheduled events or programs.

"The gym would be supervised by program staff," Moellendorf said, adding that some revenue could also be gained from community users who might want to pay for it to put on a craft fair or something similar.

"All of our programs have a 100 percent direct cost recovery," he said.

Supervisor Shelly Aldean said she was not convinced the location was ideal.

Mayor Bob Crowell said an athletic complex would add to Carson City's quality of life.

"On the top of the list for bringing new businesses to town is quality of life," he said.

Boys & Girls Club Director Hal Hansen praised the step forward.

"We're really excited and we look forward to helping pay for some of those expenses," he said.

Supervisor Karen Abowd said she was concerned about parking, but Moellendorf said there would likely be more than 250 spaces available.

"In addition to providing critical sports and recreation activities, the facility has the potential to host indoor sports tournaments as well as other community special events which could provide a positive economic impact to the community," Moellendorf said in a report to the board.￿

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