Boys & Girls Club is Carson City’s new rec center partner | NevadaAppeal.com

Boys & Girls Club is Carson City’s new rec center partner

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The proposal for Carson City to partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada to share recreation space was recommended by members of the Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday.

“I think it would be a great asset,” said resident John Nowlin, who has watched city officials discuss the issue for at least five years.

The Boys & Girls Club has its new headquarters under construction near the intersection of Russell Way and Northridge Drive, but still needs about $2 million to finish site, parking and landscaping work. About half of that would come from sale of nearby club-owned land to the city if both sides could come to terms. Up to nine acres could be available to the city for purchase.

The city has slightly less than $6 million and could take out a bond based on future Question 18 revenues for another $3.5 million. Nearly $1.2 million more that had been immediately available for this endeavor was diverted earlier this month to two other long-anticipated projects: The Carson City Fairgrounds and Ronald D. Wilson Park.

Nearly $9.5 million total, however, would be enough to finance a 28,000 to 30,000 square foot center with such amenities as a gym, fitness center, and small leisure pool, based on an estimated cost of about $315 per square foot, said Roger Moellendorf, parks director.

Selling land to the city would allow the club to finally finish the new building and move out of their Stewart Street location. The two could share that building and, possibly, a new recreation center built on the nearby property that could be purchased by the city, Moellendorf said. It’s an easily accessible location near the freeway, schools and many residences.

Demand is often at different times for the youths in the club and residents who participate in city recreation offerings. A partnership between the city and club had been discussed in the late 1990s, not long after the Question 18 tax was approved by voters. The idea then was to build a joint-use gym and share it with the club.

Members of the club’s board approved pursuing this type of arrangement and are willing to be flexible, said Judge John Tatro, one of the board members.

An estimated $2.6 million comes from Q-18 to pay for about $1 million each in parks and recreation capital improvements and open space. The remainder is for facilities maintenance.

“We’ve come full circle,” said Supervisor Pete Livermore.

Members had chosen JohnD Winters Centennial Park as an alternate location but were asked to reconsider it and Mills Park as other possible sites for recreation space.

Another resident, Ralph Buscher, prefers the city build at Mills Park.

“How about two floors to the west?” he asked. “One for parking.”

Cost for constructing underground parking “is prohibitive,” said commission Chairwoman Donna Curtis.

The club concept still is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors. It’s likely Mayor Marv Teixeira wouldn’t participate in decision making, however, because he is on the club’s board of directors.

An earlier plan to join with Western Nevada College to build and operate a recreation center failed because state legislators didn’t provide the college’s portion of the cost.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.