West Side News

Prairie Township

Trustees OK recreation center design


Prairie Township trustees approved a schematic design for a 38,000-square-foot recreation center that will include an aquatics center, gym, community space, a catering kitchen and an indoor track.

The vote came at the May 1 board meeting, where the issue of whether to include diving at the aquatics center remained an issue.

Last month, trustees examined four schematic designs. The best of those designs were put together and presented to the board.

Sara Boyer, project architect for Moody-Nolan, said the structure will have a residential feel with many windows that will face the Hellbranch Watershed and woods. The center will be at the corner of West Broad Street and Rockbrook Crossing.

"If all goes well, we will be walking into a new recreational center in two years," Boyer said. "It is scheduled to open in April of 2015."

Boyer said visitors would be greeted by a welcome desk. Standing at the entrance, they will be able to see everything the center has to offer because of its open and airy design, she said.

The recreation center will feature 5,000 square feet of fitness space that will include machines and free weights; a gymnasium that will include a full basketball court, two volleyball courts with the ability to create half courts; an indoor track; and a group exercise room.

The aquatics center will include lap lanes, a current channel with vortex, a volleyball court and underwater benches.

Because of the decision over whether to have a diving board is still an issue, that option can be left decided until the last minute, Boyer said.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker told trustees that their approval of the schematic design will not decide the diving board issue.

Diving requires more deep water, so if the trustees vote in favor of diving, there will be less shallow space in the pool, he said.

"Your action tonight is not a commitment to the pool area," Hatmaker said. "The pool design is referred to as 'concepts' to make it more flexible."

Trustees voted unanimously in favor of the design. A decision about diving will be made after they obtain more input from a steering committee.

The next trustees' meeting is slated at 7 p.m. May 15 at Township Hall, 23 Maple Drive.