For rec center, priority is getting it right
It’s been more than nine years since Carson City voters decided to raise taxes to, in part, finance construction of a new recreation center, yet they have little to show for it other than money in the bank.
That’s not such a terrible thing.
While we’re as eager as anybody to see an upgrade of the inadequate indoor recreation facilities at the Community Center, and the need for those facilities has done nothing but escalate over the years, the first priority must be to do this project right.
And the first hurdle remains the highest: Where should a new rec center be built?
Over the past year, Parks and Rec staff and commissioners have been searching high and low for the perfect place. They haven’t found it yet.
There are some good sites. The five choices on the table now would work, but each has at least one drawback. We earlier favored expansion next to the Aquatic Center in Mills Park because of its central location, even as we decried the loss of space and difficulties with parking.
Now we’re intrigued with the possibilities of a partnership with Western Nevada Community College, yet some drawbacks remain there as well, such as limited expansion potential. Also of some concern is the need for legislative funding and the further delay that would entail.
Other than Mills Park, any other location – WNCC, Centennial Park, Edmonds, Arrowhead – is going to be toward the edge of town and more difficult for people who like to walk to their workout. Yet anything closer in just raises the price of land, and the cost of construction isn’t going down.
With WNCC and the state as partners, there’s a good chance of getting more recreation center than if Carson City goes it alone. That’s a strong argument for waiting a bit longer before putting the shovels in the dirt.