Bids sought for new city facility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Multi-use recreation center would house pool, basketball courts

Last week, the Troy City Council agreed to allow architects to submit requests for proposals on a new multi-use recreation facility.

Dan Smith, Troy Parks and Recreation Department director, was pleased the council decided to move in that direction.

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"This is a huge first step," Smith said. "Once the RFP's are in, the mayor and city council will get to see what kind of estimates they can get. If the dollar figure is reasonable, the city will open the floor for bids."

The new facility would have many benefits for the Troy community, Smith said.

It would have two basketball courts that could be used for several events. The courts would be side-by-side with a screened divider. That would double the amount of basketball games Troy Parks and Recreation could hold each night.

"Right now, we are hurting for space," Smith said. "When we try to put together our basketball schedules, we only have two courts. These would compliment the two we use now."

All games are played at the Elm Street Gym and the Academy Street Gym. Smith said both are aging and a newer facility would allow more basketball games to be played each night and could be used for other purposes as well.

"We could use it for volleyball courts and for other events," Smith said.

The two-story building would also hold a 25-meter indoor swimming pool, men's and women's shower and locker rooms, a gymnastics facility, an indoor playground, two racquetball courts and an overhead, three-lane, one-eighth mile walking track among several other uses.

It would also hold the Troy Parks and Recreation offices and would be located near the Sportsplex.

"We would want the pool to be indoors so we could use it 12 months out of the year," Smith said.

Smith compared the envisioned facility to one built last year in Jacksonville. Jacksonville was able to build its facility for $3.9 million, a price that Smith believes is reasonable. He said if the proposals came in similar to that, Troy could begin moving forward "within the year."

The Jacksonville model is not exactly like the one Smith wants to see in Troy, though.

Jacksonville's facility has an outdoor pool, making it less expensive than the indoor pool Troy will have.

Smith said the new facility would be a vital asset to provide Troy residents the opportunity to be in better health.

"We know everyone does not play team sports, so we have planned it around that idea," Smith said. "It's our business and responsibility to provide recreational opportunities to people of all ages and abilities. This facility would meet so many needs."