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Survey: Indoor recreation activities needed for teens

Sandi Hoover
shoover@nevadaappeal.com

A Recreation Department needs assessment survey for Carson City shows that providing new indoor programs to teens between the ages of 13-17 should be the the department’s top priority.

Of the 783 participants surveyed earlier this year, 34 percent of residents believe there aren’t enough teen programs offered by the city, Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf told the board of supervisors Thursday.

“We’ve felt we’ve never adequately served that demographic,” Moellendorf said, “but we are limited by the space available.”

As an example, he pointed out that the high school varsity and junior varsity basketball teams take only 12-15 boys each.

“That leaves no opportunities for the rest of the kids who like basketball,” he said. “We want to include these ideas in a new recreation facility.”

The biggest dissatisfaction that showed up in the survey results was the lack of basketball and volleyball offerings, Moellendorf said.

Another survey highlight which

surprised the department was the number of respondents who said their family’s top preferred activity was performing arts. This was followed closely by baseball/softball cages, then aquatic fitness.

Recreation Director Joel Dunn said the recreation department has had an “amazing amount of success” with the adult soccer programs.

“But we’re not offering this to teens or youth. We have a declining ability to offer some programs due to limited facilities,” Dunn said.

Supervisor Shelly Aldean said there might be some potential for offering certain high-interest programs in under-used facilities such as the Pony Express Pavilion, and Moellendorf agreed to look into it.

Resident Janice Baldwin complimented the department for its successful soccer program, “beautiful” arts programs and “fabulous” skate park, but said an activity often overlooked is racquetball. She said there is a high degree of interest in racquetball which might surprise planners.

“If you build it, they will come,” Baldwin said.

“Racquetball is great for fitness and great for families, but the trend is not very good,” Moellendorf said. “It hit a peak in the late Eighties and early Nineties, then dropped off.”

Racquetball came in 15th on the survey as a preferred family activity.

John McKenna, candidate for Ward 3 supervisor, wondered how many community recreation needs might be addressed by building the “voter-approved recreation center.”

He also suggested using vacant warehouses on a seasonal basis for certain activities.

Moellendorf said his intention in October is to bring back a re-packaged plan for an indoor recreation center.