College president confirms interest in new rec center
Appeal Staff Writer
Representatives from the city and Western Nevada Community College were scheduled to meet for the first time with state university system officials today to discuss creating a joint-use recreation facility.
WNCC would be interested in providing a dollar-for-dollar match of up to $10 million with Carson City to pay for construction of a recreation center on property located on the north side of Combs Canyon Road, said Dr. Carol Lucy, president of WNCC, during a presentation to the city’s Parks and Recreation Commission on Tuesday.
The city has earmarked at least $7 million for the project, but could try to raise up to a total of $10 million, potentially bringing the budget for a joint-use facility to $20 million.
While the college has plenty of traditional classroom space, it seeks to add space for its physical education activities. This would include classrooms, Lucy said.
The college also would like to serve the community’s growing senior population. For example, WNCC could enter in partnership with Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center to help Carson residents avoid illnesses that are abated by exercise and other lifestyle and health improvements.
This type of facility could help make that goal a reality, she said.
The board of regents of the university and community college system of Nevada would have to approve the plan. Potential for money for this type of joint-use project won’t be known until June, when the state legislature is scheduled to approve the state university system’s operating budget, she said.
“It might be worth the wait,” said John McKenna, one of the commissioners. He pointed out that it would allow Carson City youths access to college-level sports equipment and training, and would “stretch tax dollars.”
If the city waits and the state legislature doesn’t approve the allocation, “at least we’ll have more money available” when the city finally gets to building the recreation center, McKenna theorized.
Lucy cited another joint venture as an example of a successful partnership between different government entities: the High Tech Center at Carson High School. The first year was difficult, but now both parties “are happy with the way it has turned out,” she said.
One more potential obstacle would need to be navigated: the ability to acquire adjacent state land when the site needs to expand, according to the report compiled by Metcalf Builders, Inc.
“Your offer is very enticing. I think the community would be well-served,” said Supervisor Pete Livermore. He then told Lucy: “You didn’t send a messenger. You came with the message.”
The other sites being considered for the city’s next recreation facility are Mills Park, Edmonds Sports Complex, JohnD Winters Centennial Park and property at Arrowhead Drive and Goni Road.
— Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.