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Bismarck Parks and Recreation seeks public input on proposed indoor rec center

Bismarck Parks and Recreation seeks public input on proposed indoor rec center

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A consulting firm studying a potential indoor recreation center for Bismarck recommends amenities including a walking track, indoor turf and tennis courts.

The public will get a chance to weigh in on what to include in a possible Indoor Community Recreation Complex on Wednesday at the Capital Ice Complex on 1504 Wichita Drive. An open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Parks and Recreation officials and project consultants will give a presentation at 6:30 p.m.

"Community input is an important part of this process and helps determine the feasibility of such a facility," said Randy Bina, the Bismarck Parks and Recreation District's executive director.

Parks and Recreation staff are proposing to build a center based on recommendations, presented in April, by consulting firm GreenPlay LLC, which studied how to improve local parks and facilities.

The Colorado-based firm's "Facilities Master Plan" report recommended a recreation center that would include a walking track, indoor turf and tennis courts. Athletic courts, fitness equipment, a group exercise facility, an ice sheet for skating and a playground were other amenities GreenPlay recommended. 

"There are potential sites around the community, but we haven't selected (one) and won't select any sites until the building is a go," Bina said. 

Parks and Recreation distributed a survey in March that received 1,717 complete responses. One question asked what facilities residents wanted in an indoor recreational center. Most respondents selected walking and running tracks, followed by athletic courts. 

"We are going to be asking the citizens and we are going to show them some possibilities of a facility with the amenities that came from the Facilities Master Plan," Bina said. "We hope to gather more input on Wednesday night."

During the event, the public will be able to read about the proposed recreation center and ask staff questions. Bina said attendees also can provide opinions and suggestions during the presentation. 

"If it's a big group of people, we would have a microphone available for people to come up and ask questions, provide input," he said. "We would be taking notes of the meeting. I guess those notes would be summarized as we move forward." 

GreenPlay LLC has plans to publish a feasibility study looking into the potential costs and revenue of a recreation center. The first draft is scheduled to be complete in November, with the final draft in December. 

After the study, Parks and Recreation will decide how to move forward, Bina said.

Reach Andy Tsubasa Field at 701-250-8264 or andy.field@bismarcktribune.com.

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