Jefferson City Asks Residents For Input On Proposed Recreation Center
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Parks and Recreation met Wednesday night with residents to discuss plans for a proposed multipurpose recreation center.
“We’re trying to get suggestions from all the attendees on type of amenities they want to see in the facility," Parks and Recreation Center Director Bill Lockwood said. "Those range from babysitting facilities, childcare to indoor swimming pool to gymnasium space to theater type space and about everything else in between.”
Residents presented other ideas including outdoor sports space, indoor batting cages, basketball courts with wooden floors, concessions, and a multipurpose room to host activities like dances.
Lockwood said the city needs a facility that is flexible in allowing sports teams to play there.
“There is a lot of youth sports organizations here in the community, in addition to our own programs, who lack the ability to have adequate practice time or practice space," Lockwood said.
He said he also sees the facility as a way to attract other sporting events to the city.
However, some wonder where the funding would come from for the center.
"For a fitness center, those are usually membership driven and without that you have to look at a daily fee type of program. What can you charge?" Lockwood said. "Many of the other amenities proposed for the building really generate a minimal amount of revenue so without that you have to have a revenue source that subsidizes the operation."
Parks and Recreation will be sending out a survey to 1,500 residents asking for their input.
"Once we gather that information and determine what those needs are, we will be looking at what the costs of construction can potentially be, what the cost of operation will be and determining whether we can put together a financial program," Lockwood said.
Lincoln University student Nathan Hays brought up the idea of pairing up with his University to make the center possible. Either way though, he said he is supportive and feel a recreation center is a priority in the community.
"I think it's important to address the health of the town, I think it's important to bring people together of all ages, I think it's important to give younger kids, younger than me obviously high school something to do," Hays said.
“We want it to be something of a value to the community as a whole,” Lockwood said. “If we do this, it will be a win-win not only for parks and recreation and the city, but for other service providers that are in the community as well.”