Community Center options

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Nevada Parks and Recreation Board has been receiving some criticism lately for considering options other than building a new community center.

The truth is that they intend to consider all of their options which include renovating the current facility, putting up a new community center and third, a combination of renovating the current building and adding a new gym on the north side of the present facility.

The third option, which includes closing Hunter Street between Ash and Main streets, would have the advantage of giving the community a much larger facility than we currently have or could build with the available money.

The parks board has made no decision yet and doesn't plan to make a decision until they can get some professional advice from an engineer about whether the current building is still structurally sound. In 2005 an engineering report said that it was sound, but that was more than two years ago and something may have changed.

The answer to this question will play a large role in which of the three options for consideration is the choice they will recommend to the city council. If it turns out the current building is not structurally sound, the only choice will be to build a new community center.

The real stumbling block the board has been facing, is how to pay for the project.

The city council and the city manager have been unwilling to borrow the money for the community center project and then repay that with money that comes in from the sales tax. With the price tag running several million dollars and increasing each year, it will take several more years to accumulate enough money to pay cash for the project. And every month the project is delayed the available money will buy less.

The city should at least seriously consider financing the project. The interest on the loan may well be less than the annual inflation on the cost of construction.

If the current building is sound, it seems logical to move ahead with this project, starting with building a new gym with ADA compliant restrooms and whatever is deemed necessary and when that is complete, renovate the existing building.

If it is not done in that order, the city will be without a useable Community Center for the year or so it will take to renovate the current building.

Read this and other commentaries from staff members on www.nevadadailymail.com/blogs