Group hopes rec center catches SPARC - Bonner County Daily Bee: Local News

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Group hopes rec center catches SPARC

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Posted: Friday, November 16, 2012 10:00 am

SANDPOINT — Local community activists see a world of possibilities ahead for the construction of a new recreation center.

At a meeting held at the bowling alley Wednesday night, members of SPARC, advocates for a local community center found extensive community support for the endeavor. Out of 1,200 respondents to the survey, 95 percent felt a community center would be a benefit to the region. The next step for SPARC is to identify potential partners, financing options and business plans to ensure the center can keep its own doors open once it’s constructed.

“If and when this comes to fruition, it’s going to be something that’s self-sustaining,” group president Kendon Perry said. “I certainly don’t want to do a fundraiser every year because we’re short on the heating bill.”

There are several possibilities for the future. One is a partnership with the University of Idaho, which could provide the use of its property on North Boyer Avenue, an area with several dozen acres, as one possible construction site, Perry said. In October, several University of Idaho architecture seniors produced designs for the property that included an extension campus, housing units, multi-use pathways and a prominently-featured community center.

Another possibility is a partnership with the YMCA of Spokane. This cooperation might not yield the means to construct a facility, but it could provide SPARC with the name-recognition and its robust set of ready-to-go programs.

When it came to identifying partners for the project, group members agreed it was best to go wherever the money led them.

“Wherever the money crops up to make this happen, we’ll be there,” Perry said. “This is a very fluid dream we’ve got.

The possible features of the community center are also still under discussion. An ice rink ranked high on the list according to the survey results, as did indoor aquatic facilities and a cooking program. Other possibilities include hot tubs, basketball courts, indoor soccer fields, a fitness center and other athletic accommodations. Meeting attendees theorized that many of these facilities could be planned into a single area of the building by using convertible designs.

“If we start planning this so different features overlap, it starts making a lot more sense,” group member John Nishimoto said.

A golf simulator is one potential attraction that received a demonstration at the meeting itself. The set up worked by hitting a golf ball into a screen attached to a computer. Meanwhile, a projector casts an image of a golf course on the screen. The computer is able to simulate how far the drive travels and where the ball lands, giving golfers a chance to hone their skills during the winter.  

Although the facility is still in the infancy of planning stages, group members are excited for the future and eager to see what possibilities await the project, they said.

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  • Corey Greve posted at 11:23 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 977

    Jigger, did you even read the article?

  • posted at 9:02 am on Sat, Nov 17, 2012.


    Are we not having enough trouble trying to figure out how to fix Memorial Field? Now this group wants to build a rec centre .Whos going to pay for it???

  • Corey Greve posted at 8:22 pm on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 977

    BTW, the old McFarland pole yard on North Boyer would be the perfect place for this facility, and the owners of that property are more than willing to make it happen.

  • Corey Greve posted at 8:21 pm on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    Corey Greve Posts: 977

    HWIS, the last time a rec center was proposed, and a vote was cast, it went down in flames due to the taxing district proposal and the issues that it created that were too open ended. It had nothing to do with whether or not we needed the facility.

    I am a whole-hearted supporter of a recreation center in Sandpoint. I would love to see an indoor pool and an ice rink for the community to use. I am really surprised that this town does not have these facilities already. Nearly every small town in the Midwest has an ice rink and an indoor pool for the community to enjoy. It just makes sense.

  • SdptMom posted at 5:58 pm on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    SdptMom Posts: 176

    Keep in mind, the reject of the previous proposal for a Rec. center was largely because of how Bruce Peterson handled it. He pushed for rezoning in a residential area to build. I believe the majority of residents are interested if its located in a commercial area. The property north of town on Boyer would work well.[wink]

  • Here's What I Say posted at 1:28 pm on Fri, Nov 16, 2012.

    Here's What I Say Posts: 1240

    Here we go again. Just keep this in mind rec center promoters, the tax payers voted this down a few years ago.
    So don't ask us to support a rec center again.