Planning continues for a new recreation center in East Park
Quincy’s city recreation director, Russ Harrington, introduced plans for a new recreation center at a City Council meeting in July 2017. A year and a half has passed, but the extensive project requires time, planning and funding.
The center will enable the residents to remain active whether a winter freeze or summer heat makes it difficult to enjoy the outdoors.
The initial planning has the new recreation center building sited in East Park, though it could go somewhere else in the city if necessary. The city is working on getting the approvals needed to place the center near the city pools in East Park. The city purchased that park in the 1970s using grant money from two organizations – the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund – and the city must work with them for approval to build a recreation center there, Harrington said.
Construction of the center is envisioned as three stages, he explained. The first phase’s working model is a facility with a youth activity room, a gym, a fitness room, and spaces for offices and classrooms.
Also in the plan are restrooms accessed from outside the recreation center (besides the center’s indoor restrooms). This feature would allow the city to tear down the older restrooms building in East Park, Harrington said.
The proposed second phase would add an indoor pool for lap swimming. The indoor pool would have access to the existing zero-depth pool and water slides, and it would allow removal of the existing outdoor lap pool.
The proposal for a third phase could include another gym for indoor soccer. It would not be as large as a full-size soccer field, but it would be another place the city could offer where children could play in winter, Harrington said.
The entire project is in the planning and design stage with NAC Architecture.
“We have had community meetings and sessions with focus groups and the city,” said Harrington, and another meeting is yet to be scheduled. “The funding will come from the city and from grants.”
A project as large as this has a considerable price tag. For Phase 1, construction of the 21,500-square-foot facility being planned, the estimated cost is $9.1 million, Harrington said.
Phases 2 and 3 are at this point at the level of proposals and too far down the road to establish financial estimates, but the planning continues.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register
Dave Burgess contributed to this report