ActivePaper Archive Recreation facility study OK’d - Hobbs News, 4/8/2009

Recreation facility study OK’d

• $122,000 contract OK’d for design, cost estimates for center

By the time summer is in full swing, Hobbs city officials could have the answer to what a proposed multi-purpose recreation facility could look like — and cost.

City commissioners approved a $122,000 contract with Denver-based Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture to conduct a feasibility study for a recreation facility during a Monday night meeting.

The $122,000 contract is funded by a $115,000 grant from the J. F Maddox Foundation and about $7,000 from the city.

According to contract documents provided by the city, the study will last at least 60 days.

City Parks and Recreation director Mia Russell said she thinks 60 days is a reasonable timetable for completion of the study.

“We decided to try to get moving on it more quickly,” she said. “It’s still going to take a year to finish the design. ... We’re trying to take advantage of things (in the construction industry) being slow.”

Mayor Gary Don Reagan said he hopes the study will clear up some questions facing city commissioners.

“We’re trying to figure out how to plan this,” he said Tuesday. “Designing a rec center (or) aquatic center is tougher than a lot of other things we plan.”

The city purchased land near the intersection of Sanger and U.S. 62/180 earlier this year as a location for the recreation center.

Reagan said Barker Rinker Seacat will not only design a recreation center, but provide operating cost estimates and building cost estimates in the study.

“Once they tell us what it’s going to cost to build, we’ve got to figure out how to pay for it,” he said.

Initial estimates for building a multipurpose recreation facility, including an indoor swimming pool, are $26 million-$27 million. “I think that’s actually a little low, but we’ll do what we can,” Russell said.

While the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan estimated an indoor swimming pool and recreation facility would cost less than $10 million, Russell said that estimate was for a much smaller facility.

“That (estimate) wasn’t near the size of what this facility will be,” she said.

The city, Hobbs Municipal Schools and J. F Maddox Foundation are partnering on the project, Reagan said.

“I don’t know of any other place in the state that has that kind of cooperation between the city, schools and a private foundation,” he said.

Documents provided by the city stated the contract was effective with Monday’s vote.

Architects with Barker Rinker Seacat will travel to Hobbs at least three times during the next 60 days to conduct interviews, surveys and develop a design.

The contract stated the recreation center may include “indoor competition pool, indoor leisure pool, fitness, gymnasium, aerobics studio, meeting rooms, child (care) and offices.