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City Council Approves New Recreation Center

Apr 08, 2016 10:42AM ● Published by Taylor Stevens

By Taylor Stevens | taylors@mycityjournals.com

West Jordan - The West Jordan City Council took the first steps toward developing a new aquatic and recreation center at Ron Wood Park on 5900 West New Bingham Highway with a 5-2 vote on Feb. 24.

The recreation center has been a discussion item for several years, and the cost of the center will be in the range of $35 to $40 million, according to Kim Wells, West Jordan’s public information officer.

“Over the last few years, there have been talks to build a new rec center on the west side of our growing city,” Mayor Kim Rolfe said in his mayor’s message. “This proposed rec center will be in addition to the county-owned Gene Fullmer Rec Center and will be owned and operated by the city rather than the county.”

The council approved an agreement on Feb. 24 with the firm VCBO Architecture to design the center. The design costs were mandated not to exceed $1.6 million.

Councilmembers Chris McConnehey and Chad Nichols voted against the proposal, citing a desire to see more numbers before they committed the city’s money. 

“I’m not quite ready to commit $1.6 million quite yet,” McConnehey said. “There’s still more information I’d like to see.”

Specifically, McConnehey said he wanted to see numbers “around population and distance from the proposed sites to see how reasonable of an expectation it is that this could be self-sustaining” and to ensure that there would be enough resident demand for the recreation center.

Councilmember Jeff Haaga expressed concerns about the location of the recreation center, as well — particularly the lack of commercial development in the area immediately surrounding the location.

“I think it’s a terrible location,” Haaga said. “Where we’re planning to put it here in the middle of nowhere, you all know I’ve been opposed to that. I think it’s a mistake.”

However, Haaga put aside his concerns and voted for the development so the project could move forward conceptually, he said.

“Maybe in time, we’ll have things around [the area], so I’m going to support the motion and hope and pray that we have homes built out there eventually, so we have people that can utilize it,” Haaga said. 

Rolfe said that the city-owned location on which the project will be developed is one of the assets of the center. 

“Having it here … puts it adjacent to the water park, the playground, the tennis courts, the Ron Wood baseball fields — it really becomes a destination for everyone in the city, I believe, at this particular location,” Rolfe said. “There will be nothing like this complex in the entire valley that we put in this location.” 

Construction on the project should begin in late fall and will last approximately 18 months, Wells said.

“We are still in the very early stages of this proposed project,” Rolfe said in his mayor’s message. “Details like membership costs, specific programs and funding mechanisms are still being discussed.” He said the goal is to “create a fantastic amenity for our residents” that is financially sustainable “as a standalone facility.” 

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