City’s recreation center design approved by panel |

City’s recreation center design approved by panel

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

If a plan for a recreation center shared by Carson City and Western Nevada Community College fall through, it likely would require a major review of its size, scope, cost and location – especially given the city’s current budget constraints, according to some officials.

The city and college would be partners if a plan for a $20 million joint-use recreation center on the Western Nevada Community College campus moves forward.

The Parks and Recreation Commission citizens panel discussed the project and recommended the Board of Supervisors accept the design concepts during a meeting Tuesday.

“This has become almost the Taj Mahal,” said Tom Keeton, a parks and recreation commissioner.

Question 18 funds will comprise the city’s share of the project. Voters approved the quarter-cent sales tax for parks and open space in 1996. Carson City has $7.2 million saved and plans to create a bond of about $3 million for the remainder, said Roger Moellendorf, parks and recreation director.

However, state legislators would have to approve the college’s $10 million share before the project could move forward.

Keeton also has concerns about handicapped access and energy costs to heat and cool the building, and doesn’t want to see money taken away from other parks and recreation offerings to pay for them.

Preliminary plans call for a 67,000-square-foot, three-story building east of the Joe Dini Library at the end of West College Parkway. It would house a multipurpose gymnasium, indoor walking track, cardio-fitness area and leisure pool. The college would requires multipurpose space and other school facilities within the center.

“People may want it, but do we need it?” asked resident John Wagner. He would prefer to see a new facility not on the north side, but closer to the current community center in the middle of the city.

He also said legislators might have “other things they want to spend money on.”

“It’s very much needed,” replied Donna Curtis, chairwoman of the commission. “We’re out of room.”

Part of the original Question 18 Quality of Life initiative approved by voters described a “multipurpose gym,” and providing more indoor recreational space has been a long-term priority of the city and a concern among residents, Moellendorf said.

The target completion date is late 2009 or early 2010. Even if the project moves forward in its current form, it won’t provide adequate space to serve Carson City’s population of more than 57,000, Moellendorf added.

“What we think is a Taj Mahal today won’t be after it’s built,” said John Nowlin, another resident.

“The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum,” and not the effect the city is after with this project, joked commission member John McKenna.

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

In other business

Commissioners heard about a proposal for the city to obtain control of Treadway Park. It’s considered part of the eight-acre Carson-Tahoe Hospital property on Fleishmann Way and Minnesota Street, now being used for outpatient services and for sale.

While the city might be able to obtain control of the park for free, immediate repairs and improvements and the site’s historic significance should be taken into consideration. Repairs would cost the city nearly $5,700, and major improvements over the first five years would require more than $43,000. Annual maintenance is estimated to cost $10,800, according to officials.


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