The Board of Directors is currently working with MIG and architecture firm Barker, Rinker, Seacat (BRS) on the design for a community recreation center to be located at the intersection of Highway 86 and County Road 17. The design effort is being led by a committee of citizens who began meeting in April to assess and discuss community needs, resident desires, program priorities, and facility design.
The committee conducted a community survey to gain input from residents and received over 950 responses, with over 95% of respondents expressing general support for a recreation center in Elizabeth. The survey results, while not scientific, helped the committee prioritize desired program elements and provided valuable feedback from those supportive of the effort as well as those that may have concerns about the project. The committee has been asked to work within a $15M construction budget and has made several design recommendations to the Board which have been accepted. Committee recommendations on the facility design to date include: a strong focus on aquatics, with a leisure pool emphasis, a HS size gymnasium, fitness space, program / activity rooms, childcare room, and needed support spaces.
Once initial draft designs are completed by BRS, the committee will host a number of open houses and invite residents to come review the drafts and provide further design input. Please be sure to attend an event and help us get this design right. Check back here occasionally for news and updates and to stay in the loop on the Elizabeth Recreation Center Project!
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· Who is deciding what to include in the recreation center design?
The District solicited the public in early 2021 to be a part of a recreation center design committee and lead the effort. This citizen-based committee has been responsible for identifying and prioritizing the desired spaces and amenities and making recommendations to the District Board of Directors, who make the final decisions. The recreation center design committee has also surveyed the public and received over 950 responses which have helped inform and guide their recommendations.
· What amenities are going to be included in the facility?
The recreation center design committee has prioritized the pool area as the main focus of the design. The pool area will include a zero-depth entry leisure pool with play features, a social / rec pool, a lazy river, two to three 75’ lap lanes, a water slide, and an adult hot tub. The committee has also prioritized a gymnasium, program space / meeting rooms(s), fitness space, and a childcare room. The initial design will also include needed support spaces including locker / restrooms, lobby, mechanical spaces, storage, staff offices, and potentially unfinished space for future improvement. While the list of desired amenities was quite a bit longer, and included a climbing wall, a senior lounge, a teen activity room, and an indoor track, the project budget forced the committee to limit what can be included in the design.
· Where can I see the plans / designs for the recreation center being proposed?
The District has contracted with a design / architecture firm that is currently working with our recreation center design committee and designing the facility. They will also be preparing schematics and images to share with the community. We anticipate being able to share the design with the public this fall and receive feedback on our website and by hosting informational events for residents to attend.
· Where will the recreation center be located?
In 2020, the District purchased 91-acres surrounding the existing Casey Jones Park. The site proposed for the recreation center is located at the corner of Highway 86 and County Road 17, in Elizabeth.
· How much will the construction of a recreation center cost?
The District has established a tentative construction budget for the facility of $15M.
· How will the District pay for the construction of the recreation center?
At this time, the District Board of Directors intends to ask residents to fund the construction through a ballot initiative in May of 2022. Residents will be asked to increase the mill levy rate assessed by the District to allow the District to fund the construction over a 30-year term.
· What is the District mill levy rate currently, and how much does it need to be increased to fund construction?
The current mill levy that the District assesses on non-exempt properties is 2.466. The Board is proposing it be increased to 4.932.
· How will that affect my annual property taxes?
Though you should consult your accountant to fully understand how an increase in the District’s mill levy rate will personally impact you, see example below for a property with an actual value of $550,000 in 2021.
Actual 2021 Property Value $550,000
Assessed 2021 Value $ 39,332
2021 Tax Assessed by District $ 97
Proposed Increase $ 97
Proposed Total 2021 Mill Levy $ 194
· If residents vote to approve the mill levy increase in May of 2022, when will the recreation center be built?
Provided that the ballot measure passes in May of 2022, the District will then put the construction out for public bid and solicit proposals. Tax revenues from the passed ballot measure will begin being collected in January 2023, allowing construction to begin at that time. Construction is projected to require up to 12 months, meaning the facility would open in late 2023 or early 2024.
· Will I be able to use the recreation center if I am not a District resident?
Non-Residents will be permitted to use the recreation center provided there is sufficient capacity and will pay higher fees than District residents. If capacity issues arise, usage and membership may be limited to District residents.
· How do I know if I am a District resident?
To learn if you are a District resident, check your current tax statement and see if “Elizabeth Park and Rec Gene” is included in your list of taxing entities. If you need any assistance determining residency, call the park office at 303.646.3599. Please note that some properties within the geographical boundaries of the District are exempt from inclusion, and therefore are not considered residents. These include properties 40-acres or larger and zoned as Agricultural. If customers can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. Clearly list and describe the services you offer. Also, be sure to showcase a premium service.