Is a community rec center in Grand Junction’s future? | PostIndependent.com

Is a community rec center in Grand Junction’s future?

Caitlin Row
crow@gjfreepress.com

Though planning is extremely preliminary, the City of Grand Junction hopes to build a community recreation center on the 205-acre Matchett Park off Patterson Avenue! That’s good news for many locals who feel a city-run rec center would benefit the community.

“It’s the coolest property,” Recreation Superintendent Traci Wieland said of the Matchett Park location. “The western side of it is flat farmland, used for agricultural purposes for decades.” It’s also made up of an “Indian wash” area with desert, hills, drops and cliffs. Though undeveloped, the park is presently home to an 18-hole disc golf course.

Many Grand Junction residents asked for a new community recreation center in a TABOR survey sent out by the city earlier this spring, Wieland said. And officials took note of that need when considering options for Matchett Park’s future.

“If we’re going to master plan a park, we really need to master plan the community center, too,” she added. “It’s wise to do a master plan for a park and community center concurrently because both have bearing on the overall park design.”

According to Wieland, large-scale master planning efforts for a combined rec center and outdoor park area is dependent on the City of Grand Junction receiving a $75,000 Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) grant this coming June. Though GOCO granting is extremely competitive, Wieland said she’s very hopeful.

“If the GOCO grant doesn’t come through, it will mean going back to drawing board,” she said. “If we don’t have enough money to do both, we will seek additional grants. One way or another, we’ll have a park master plan by spring 2014, at least for the outdoor piece.”

Wieland added in an email: “GOCO doesn’t fund indoor amenities, so the $75K will assist with park planning, not (the) rec center.”

Once a master plan for Matchett Park is complete, then project costs and a proposed timeline could be determined by the city.

Want to weigh in on rec center and park amenities? Don’t worry. You’ll get your chance.

“We’re planning to do an extensive public participation process with this,” Wieland said. “It’s a regional park, dense neighborhoods surround it, and there are a lot of potential user groups. There are lots of folks to talk to and lots of opinions to take into account.”


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