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Supervisors seek review of Carson recreation needs

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com

The need for more indoor recreation space in Carson City came up again recently.

At the request of Supervisor Molly Walt, the board of supervisors has directed Parks and Recreation Department staff to take a look at adult and youth sports programs and determine what, if any, indoor recreation space might be needed.

Walt pointed out during a recent meeting of the board that the present recreation center was built in 1970 when the population was about 15,000. Forty years later, with a population approaching 60,000 and an increase in recreational programming, she said she believes there is an immediate need for an additional gymnasium.

Walt said there are about 700 adult futsal players with an indoor program that runs Thursday through Sunday during the winter, but that there also is a need for youth indoor programming for soccer/futsal programs.

Combine that with adult basketball and volleyball programs, and there is little to no room left for the 1,651 youth soccer players who would likely enjoy playing year-round, she said.

Walt suggested that money left in the Quality of Life fund could be tapped into to build a new multi-sports facility.

The city does not have enough money to build the new recreation center that has been designed for the parcel adjoining the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada, nor are there funds for ongoing operation and maintenance, so a new gymnasium might be an option worth exploring, Walt said.

Parks and Recreation Commission Chairwoman Donna Curtis said indoor recreation needs have been discussed for many years.

“It’s not just sports (that are shutout). Individuals are shut out who want to play basketball or volleyball. I’m still in shock that we can’t get a recreation center,” Curtis said. “I’d like to see a couple of community meetings.”

Supervisor Shelly Aldean said she believed expanding the present facility still had merit and that operation would be less difficult than an additional project.

“Moving forward with a needs assessment is a good idea,” Aldean said.

City Manager Larry Werner said he was worried about adding more operations at a time when staff-thinning and other cuts are being proposed to balance the general fund budget.

Kurt Meyer, who spoke on behalf of the Little League board, said his group was able to build a batting facility at Governor’s Field through fundraising. He suggested other groups might consider tackling their needs in the same way.

But supervisors also passed a resolution Thursday for the Parks and Recreation Commission to seek American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funds, which might be used to build the new indoor recreation center.

Aldean, still concerned about operation and maintenance, added a stipulation to the resolution.

“If we ask for the full

$10 million for the center next to the Boys & Girls Clubs, (and it turns out that) we have no funding source for long-term operation and maintenance, then we turn down the funds,” she said.