Rec Center improvement plan presented

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Charlie and Laura Morrison of Morrison Architecture present their preliminary findings on improvements to the Holiday Island Recreation Complex. At Monday's work session the board received their report detailing plans for the next 10 years. CCN / Kathryn Lucariello

The Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District (HISID) Board of Commissioners heard preliminary findings on Recreation Complex improvements from Morrison Architecture at its Monday work session.

The good news: "Structurally, we feel like (the Rec Center itself) is pretty good," said Charlie Morrison. "Most problems are cosmetic and handicapped-access."

The bad news: the Barn -- even though popular -- is inefficient and expensive to maintain.

But the Barn is down the line in the longterm plan, and Morrison Architecture had more immediate suggestions.

Morrison's preliminary findings were based on a study of the Pavilion, the Rec Center, the pools, the Pro Shop, parking and "exterior activities" such as the tennis courts, basketball court, miniature golf, the playground, and other areas.

In studying these facilities, Morrison also reviewed HISID's "2004-2008 Capital Improvements Program for the Recreation Center" and the "1993 Feasibility Study of Proposed Community Center."

Morrison suggested the two major areas of improvement to start with are the Rec Center restrooms and making the Rec Center ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.

"It's almost embarrassing to bring family members to the Rec Center restrooms," Charlie said.

Laura Morrison added the lighting is pretty poor in some areas and venting is inadequate.

Other areas needing attention:

  • the large pool deck needs resurfacing

  • the tennis courts need resurfacing and light-pole painting

  • the stone pillars for the fencing need repair, the metal fence needs refinishing, and new gates need to be added

  • the garden patio needs to be upgraded

  • the game room needs to be remodeled and upgraded

  • the front entry needs to be remodeled and upgraded

    Morrison suggested tackling these projects in three phases:

    Phase I: addition and renovation of the main entry to the Rec Center.

    "Those little ramps do not meet ADA," Laura said. "There are ways to fix that now to make it ADA accessible."

    The Morrisons said the front entry is too crowded with too many little rooms. They suggested opening it up, moving the current conference room to the Pro Shop and consolidating Pro Shop and Rec Center staff.

    Phase 2: addition of an indoor pool and fitness center.

    "Pull around to the kids' pool area and open up that family area with a courtyard area and an indoor pool," Laura said.

    Phase 3: addition of a community center, based on the 1993 feasibility study.

    The findings report states the goal is to complete the Rec Center cosmetic and ADA changes in the next five years and the new construction phases within the next 10 years.

    What to do with the Barn is a hot topic. The Barn has internal pillars and a central, raised stage that make any kind of activity difficult from sight and space standpoints.

    "We felt the Barn was not conducive to a lot of things," Charlie said.

    "Level it and put in parking," said Commissioner Ken Mills. "I don't see why we need that thing."

    "You need to see how much that is used," said property owner Kay Janky. "It is used every weekend."

    "That's not the point," Mills said. "The point is, it's inefficient."

    "It's a facility that everyone has an opinion on, and it's a political issue," District Manager Kevin Crosson said. "My feeling is to spend as little money on it as possible and let the community make the decision. Yes, it's inefficient, but it's a very popular space."

    Commissioners agreed better statistics of the use of the various amenities in the Recreation Complex need to be obtained.

    But all agreed the restrooms need to be the priority.

    Copies of the preliminary findings can be obtained at the district office at 110 Woodsdale Drive.

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