Archive for Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Consultant says community center is feasible

October 25, 2006

A consultant hired by the city, school district and recreation commission told those groups Tuesday night that a multi-use community center is feasible in Baldwin City.

Jeff King, of Ballard-King Associates, studied the demographics of Baldwin and a 10-mile radius around it for a year. His recommended facility would be over 43,000 square feet, which would cost roughly $8.6 million.

"I'm not an architect or an engineer, so I can't tell you what it will cost you," King said. "What I'm told is it would cost $200 a square foot. There are other soft costs, too."

King's suggested programs include indoor swimming, gymnasium, indoor walking track, weight lifting, an indoor playground, senior area and aerobic area, among others. Cost of those programs -- for salaries, utilities, etc. -- would be $941, 251 per year with revenues of $707,787, a shortfall of $200,000. But, he said it can work.

"It will take several years for you to reach saturation," he said. "I think you can see that this is something that can work in your community. It's a very favorable market. As Monte (Ezell, recreation commission director) said, this has been talked about for 10 years.

"From our standpoint, it certainly looks favorable," said King. "If you go into it knowing that it will cost a quarter million dollars to run, that can be figured into your funding mechanism."

A complete story and photo will be in this week's issue of the Signal on Thursday.

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