Meeting to focus on recreation center

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Is your child's swim team clamoring for an indoor pool? Are you a teen who wants a place to dance? Would you like to practice your climbing skills inside before you head out?

You may be interested in sharing your thoughts on Thursday, when people can discuss ideas for a community recreation center.

The meeting is part of the city of Steamboat's second phase to study the feasibility of a new recreation center, said Susan Petersen, the city's recreation supervisor. Petersen said recreation officials are "calling all users" to let consultants Ballard King & Associates know the community needs.

The consultants were hired in 1999 to conduct a feasibility study, but little action has happened since. Wednesday's "next steps" meeting is meant to kick off a second phase of public and focus-group meetings.

Topics include the community's satisfaction with current facilities, the potential role of the Steamboat Springs Health and Recreation Association in the development of facilities and possible recreation center sites.

Petersen said some people have been confused about the meeting and whether it is related to the new community center project. It is not. The community center project is set to progress because voters approved the expansion of Bud Werner Memorial Library during last week's election.

During the expansion, the Lincoln Park Community Center will be razed. City Council members have said they are committed to providing seniors and other user groups with a new community center, preferably before the current one is torn down. A steering committee has identified a possible site and potential uses for the community center, and the council set aside $1.5 million for the project.

What: Community recreation center "next steps" meeting

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday

Where: Olympian Hall, 845 Howelsen Parkway

It's a brown bag meeting, so bring your lunch. For more information, call Susan Petersen at 879-4300, ext. 320, or spetersen@steamboatsprings.net.

Petersen said recreation officials would like to see a separate recreation center because a small community center likely cannot accommodate all the community's recreational needs and programs, such as summer camps and a gymnasium.

"There are different programs in a recreation center than there could be in a smaller meet-greet-and-eat community center," Petersen said.

The word "community" is attached to the recreation center project because recreation officials want a new center to be a communitywide amenity, Petersen said. Her staff envisions a building that includes not only sports activities such as climbing walls, but also meeting rooms for uses such as toddler play, senior workouts and teen dances.

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