City-college partnership under consideration for recreation center |

City-college partnership under consideration for recreation center

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The feasibility of a partnership between Carson City and Western Nevada Community College for a recreation center is being considered tonight by the Parks and Recreation Commission.

WNCC officials have shown interest in providing a dollar-for-dollar match with the city to pay for constructing a recreation center on school property. The location being eyed is north of Combs Canyon Road.

At least $7 million has been earmarked by the city for the project, but it could try to raise more money.

This could heighten the joint budget for a center to at least $16 million, according to Roger Moellendorf, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.

“It’s looking pretty good,” said Helaine Jesse, WNCC’s vice president of institutional advancement. “We’re working diligently to see if we can make it happen.”

City and college officials have been meeting with state officials to determine whether state funding would be available for the college’s contribution, and to determine what direction this type of joint project could take, Moellendorf and Jesse said.

One of these groups is The Board of Regents of the University and Community College System of Nevada.

Local officials met recently with a board subcommittee to explain what might be achieved with a city-college partnership.

“We’re hoping we’ll get a positive response,” Moellendorf said.

Regents would have to approve the plan. So would the state Legislature.

“The tricky part would be to forge and develop a partnership and joint-use agreement beneficial to both entities,” Moellendorf said. “It would be difficult, but can be done.”

Joint-use centers cited as successful examples Carson City could emulate include facilities in Manassas, Va., and Clayton, Mo., and officials have been looking at both.

The Freedom Aquatic and Fitness center in Manassas resulted from a partnership among George Mason University, Prince William County and the city of Manassas.

This fitness center was built in 1999 on the college campus and it provides such services as pools, locker rooms, full gymnasium, exercise studios, drop-in child care and a plethora of fitness classes.

It is run by the university and is considered a national model for successful joint-use partnering.

In Clayton, population 13,000 and a suburb of St. Louis, the city and school district share a center built about five years ago next to its high school.

It offers various physical fitness and aquatic amenities, even a climbing wall. It also has meeting rooms, teen and senior centers and a snack bar.

The students are allowed to use it an hour before, during and an hour after school.

Carson City voters approved a quarter-cent sales tax called Question 18 for parks and open space in 1996.

Originally conceived as a community gym, the proposal has expanded into a recreation center. Serious preliminary work has been going on for a year.

Other sites being considered for Carson City’s next recreation facility are Mills Park, Edmonds Sports Complex, JohnD Winters Centennial Park and property at Arrowhead Drive and Goni Road.

The issue will be considered for approval by the Board of Supervisors in April.

— Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber or 882-2111, ext. 215.

If you go

What: Carson City Parks and Recreation commission meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. today

Where: Sierra Room, Community Center, 851 E. William St.