Workshops fuel ideas for new rec center
May 6, 2005
Plans for a city recreation center are still murky after two public workshops held by the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department last week.
“I don’t think anything we’ve proposed has dropped out; there’s just more things (the public wants),” said Carson City Park Planner Vern Krahn.
About 25 people attended each of last week’s meetings, and they all seemed about equally split over what to do with the proposed $6.2 million facility.
Members of Carson City’s racquetball community showed up to lobby for courts, and others pushed for more gym space and several other, varied amenities.
“The recreation needs in this community are severely lacking, and having $6.2 million really limits our choices,” Krahn said. “We need more like $10 million to $12 million to really meet our needs.”
The site for the center was also a major point of discussion.
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Just about as many people supported putting the multi-use center in Mills Park as opposed it, Krahn said.
Opponents of the location dread the loss of grass and trees to pavement and buildings. Supporters of the site say they’d be much more likely to use the center if it were in Mills Park, near the city’s existing aquatic center and other outdoor recreation possibilities.
According to Krahn, the benefit of having several recreation choices in one spot made Mills Park the top choice for several people who don’t want to run all over the city taking their children from one place to another.
“Many of them seemed to be mothers,” he said.
The city’s recreation department is pushing the Mills Park location, touting the “synergy” of combining it with the aquatic center.
Parks and Recreation Director Roger Moellendorf said the Mills Park site would also save the city a bundle in salaries over the years. Conceptual plans for the center have it physically connected to the aquatic center, so the facilities would share a front desk and staff.
The Carson City Parks and Recreation Commission seemed to be leaning toward approving the Mills Park site at a public meeting last month, but tabled the vote so recreation officials could gather more information.
Krahn said the matter likely won’t go before the commission again until a survey, randomly sent out to 3,000 homes in the next month, comes back in. Parks officials are expecting about 600 of the forms to be returned and tabulated by mid-June.
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