Council Hears Committee Report On Rec Center

OSKALOOSA — During the City Council meeting on July 5, Mayor David Krutzfeldt gave a report from the Recreation and Early Childhood Education
facility committee.

“You may remember that we had the votes that have taken place for Local Option Sales Tax, and there is roughly $18] million worth of funding that
can be worked with to create this facility,” he said. “So with that in mind, it’s time we start designing and putting that together.”
Krutzfeld stated that Mark Cartledge, interim CEO of the Mahaska County YMCA, mentioned to the committee that it’s not uncommon for YMCAs to
be built for around $11 million.

“We’re working on building with an $18 million budget,” said Krutzfeldt. “So, if we could find a way to do the childcare and early education piece for
about $7 million, we’re well on our way.”
The committee is investigating what the best practices are for the construction of a facility such as the one on the table.

“We also spent a significant time talking about the sustainability of this,” said Krutzfeldt.

“If you think about all of the public questionnaires that were out there, all of the input that was received; the building designed at $24 million had
everything everybody was asking for in it. We’re going to go back to the public another time, asking ‘ok, now that we know that $24 million was what it was going to cost for you to have everything you want, what is it that you really, really want,’ so hopefully we’ll have the kind of guidance from the public for them to tell us what the highest priorities are going to be so that we can design the facility in that manner.”
The committee has been communicating with architects and getting input from a variety of sources, and is in the process of selecting a firm that will
handle getting public input and working with the architect.

Committee members are also putting together some field trips, where they’ll be looking at other YMCA and community recreation facilities, with the
intention of “building ours to fit our community using the best practices that we observe from some other communities,” said Krutzfeldt.

A council member inquired about having a recreational pool in the facility and what that might mean for the Edmundson pool. “There hasn’t been an official design yet,” said Krutzfeldt. “One of the things I’m pushing for is that one of the questions we would ask is ‘should a recreational pool be in that facility; if so, should we keep the recreation pool at Edmundson park open’. That was a fairly controversial thing back when the discussion was
going on and the vote was being held, so as far as I’m concerned, let’s go ahead and get input from the public, as long as we’re asking them questions

“If you’ll remember, the original blue prints it had both, so if the public tells us that they don’t need a recreation pool inside that facility then we build accordingly,” said Krutzfeldt. “If the public wants to have a recreational pool that is accessible year-round, it strikes me that that’s the better use of public money, but I’m willing to listen and I think the committee is as well.”

Councilman and committee member Doug Yates shared that he had some early concerns about spending more money to do another market analysis. However, “As we continue to meet as a committee, I get more comfortable with doing it for a simple reason: I look at it as refinement of what we need to build, and just as importantly – or more importantly – that people are going to be willing to join it so it can sustain long-term,” he said. “We
don’t have $24 million, and whatever we do spend the $18 million on, it’s got to be what people are willing to join so that we can have membership

At this time, the committee is tentatively looking at the facility being open in mid- to late-2019.

Story provided by Angie Holland


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