Council Approves 4-1 Basic Layout For Recreation Center
West U. City Council has given to go-ahead to architectural firm PGAL to begin engineering work on Option 6 (click here for plan) for the new Recreation Center – the plan that the Parks Board recommended by a 6-1 vote.
Jeff Gerber with PGAL presented the plan to council at Monday night’s special session, and the plan was approved by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Michael Talianchich voting against the plan.
“We are rushing this,” said Talianchich. “This is absolutely crazy – when people build a custom home they take eight months looking at plans.”
Talianchich told council he would like another town hall meeting for resident’s input before deciding on any plans. City Manager Michael Ross said that in order to stay on schedule, PGAL needed to begin on engineering work soon. Although the plan was approved, the layout and use of the inside rooms is not set in stone.
Councilman Chuck Guffey expressed concern that holding West U.’s popular jazzercise class in the second-floor multi-purpose room was a mistake.
“You have 50 people in there, jumping in unison,” said Guffey. “…I think the whole building is going to shake.”
Talianchich, a structural engineer, agreed with Guffey, but Gerber said the concrete structure would help control the vibrations and all rooms would be treated for acoustics. Gerber also said a benefit of having the jazzercise room on the second floor was crowd control, as well as placing most adult activity on the second floor.
Councilwoman Phyllis Cohen asked City Manager Michael Ross if it would be possible for staff to visit other facilities with similar layouts to research the noise and vibrations. Ross agreed to do more research.
Revisions to the plan following the Parks Board vote included added space in the changing room, two restrooms in the women’s locker room, and one urinal and one stall in the men’s locker room. Multipurpose room one is slightly smaller to enlarge the lockers rooms, an elevator has been added to multipurpose room as well as a door from the cardio room and weight room.
The city hopes to have the new covered pool ready for use by the end of 2009, before the pool at Colonial Park is shut down for renovation. Both projects are part of the recently passed $13.8 million bond election. The current Rec. Center building will most likely be demolished this month.