Quincy Recreation Center full of possibilities
“What would your priorities be?” was the question that was asked at the city of Quincy’s recreation department open house held Sept. 28, presenting preliminary designs for the anticipated recreation facility. The goal is to create opportunities for citizens to enjoy recreational activities during the too-cold winter months and the too-hot summer months. Discussion was wide-ranging and favorable during the event. A second, similar meeting will likely be held but has not been scheduled yet.
NAC Architecture, the same firm who designed the new Quincy High School, presented ideas that have been gathered over the past few months by a diverse committee consisting of youth, parents and senior citizens. Russ Harrington, the City of Quincy’s recreation director, said community input is vital so the project can be clearly defined. There are many variables to consider, such as what programs to offer, what should the space look like, where should it be located and what are the costs?
The preliminary drawings presented by NAC showed an estimated 44,800 square foot building that is expected to be completed in two phases. But, Harrington said, the drawings are not “set in stone” as the city is looking for more community input. Phase one is estimated to be 29,300 square feet and cost $11.9 million and could include a gymnasium, indoor walking track, classrooms/arts and crafts, a teen activity center and a community multipurpose room. Other ideas presented were a children’s activity center, a serving kitchen that could host a juice/nutrition café and an exercise/fitness studio where current ballet and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes could be held. Attendees also presented an idea for an indoor soccer field. There was concern that the new facility would compete with current businesses in town. That is not the case, Harrington said.
Phase two, estimated to be 15,500 square feet and cost $8 million, would include replacing the 50-year old pool with a new heated, indoor pool. The concept centers mostly on East Park as existing infrastructure is already there. Both proposed locations at East Park, are near the zero-depth pool. The proposal includes roll-up doors so the outdoor zero-depth pool and indoor pool would be open to each other.
With community support for the project, the only discussion now is what the community wants and how much it will cost. “It’s exciting. There aren’t any towns the size of Quincy that are trying to do something like this,” Harrington said.
Funding for the facility would be as a capital project and not paid for by a bond issue.
Construction on the project will not begin until the city has completed the new city hall, but Harrington said comments and suggestions are needed quickly so designs and funding requirements can be determined this fall. Harrington has been speaking with various groups and handing out survey forms. Surveys are available at the Quincy Valley Post-Register and at Harrington’s office at the city recreation center, located at 100 Second Avenue SE.
By Janet Lybbert, QVPR contributor