Spanish Fork Life Center: Bringing the city together
The Citizen’s Committee was formed to explore the feasibility of building a recreation center/library/senior center in response to a 2007 survey in which Spanish Fork City surveyed the residents to determine what recreation facilities were most wanted (search for “survey” at spanishfork.org). The overwhelming majority asked for an indoor aquatic center and recreation center.
As a member of the committee, I went through a series of conversations about what we love about Spanish Fork (small town feel, close community, help each other, rodeo, Fiesta Days), core values and what our community needs. Through these conversations we arrived at a Life Center. The goal is to provide recreational and educational experiences for everyone in Spanish Fork from infants to seniors. We wanted to create a place where residents can come together for community events. Life Center Amentities The Life Center Design includes two components: recreation and community. The recreation center includes a fitness center with weights, cardio, a spin room, an aerobics room, a fitness studio, a basketball court, a pickleball and volleyball court, racquetball courts, an indoor track and a playground. The recreation center also includes an aquatic center which has a children’s play area, a diving and climbing wall, a 25-meter-by-25-meter pool, a program/teaching pool, a lazy river, a therapy pool (hot tub) and a day care facility.
The Community Components include the library and the senior center. The library has a teen reading area, a children reading area, three program rooms, an A/V collection, two study rooms, a self check-out, a drive-up book drop and public computers. The Senior Center includes a commercial kitchen, a multi-purpose hall with stage, a lounge, TV and reading rooms, a wellness center, a ceramics area, an arts and crafts area and a game room.
The Life Center design measures 125,000 square feet. Over 8,000 feet will be space that the library and senior center will share. Recreational amenities will account for 49 percent of the building while the aquatics center will take 21 percent, the library will take 12 percent, the senior center will take 8 percent and 10 percent will be shared space. Location Once we had a vision of what we would like for the city, we began looking at locations. Everyone was struck with the beauty of the location near the Sports Park on Volunteer Road. The Life Center would be situated on the corner of Volunteer and Main Street with two entrances to help alleviate traffic. The Life Center would easily connect with the river trails and would allow residents to participate in outdoor and indoor recreation. In addition, Volunteer Road is slated to become a major connection in the future and be widened to five lanes, which will also help with traffic. Another possible location that was discussed was on Center Street near the Justice Center. However, after visiting both locations, the committee felt that the natural beauty and ambiance of the Sports Sports Park location would provide the ideal location for the Life Center.
As I was attending these meetings, I posted information on various Facebook groups including Spanish Fork Community News and the New Spanish Fork Yard Sale in order to get feedback from the community. Some concerns that came up were losing the soccer fields at the Sports Park. Due to this concern, the city is in the process of acquiring the land on Main Street so as to limit the number of fields removed. Another concern was the initial bond amount of $42 million. The city got together and looked at the overall building to determine what they could take out. After discussion, they lowered the cost to $39 million. For an average Spanish Fork homeowner, this equates for $16.82 a month.
To see information about the tax impact for homes and businesses, visit spanishfork. org/ newsevents/ events/ elections/ bond/taxImpact.php. If the city council approves it, the bond issue will be on the November ballot.