Span­ish Fork Life Cen­ter: Bring­ing the city to­gether

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Amy Baird

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.

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