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Community Recreation Center Feasibility Study Complete!


Community Recreation Center Feasibility Study Complete!


Based on community input, and with the help of BERK Consulting, Johnston Architects, and Ballard King (a firm specializing in cost estimating for recreation centers), the Project Committee has completed the feasibility study for a community recreation center.  The center would be located on 12.2 acres of land adjacent to the Cle Elum-Roslyn schools.  The land was donated to the City of Cle Elum expressly for the purpose of constructing a community recreation center and cannot be used for other purposes.

Click here to read the Feasibility Study Final Report

Three Options


Three Options


Option A Plan

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A 4-lane lap pool with a recreation area and hot tub.
The 4 lap lanes could support lap swimming, upper-level swim lessons, and swim team and triathlon training. When not in use, the 4 lap lanes could offer a recreation area for activities like swim lessons, aqua exercise, and recreational swimming. 

A large flexible gymnasium that can be configured for 1 full-size basketball court, or 2 small basketball courts, or volleyball courts, or 4 pickleball courts. Other active uses could be accommodated in this flexible space.  

A party/multipurpose room next to the pool that could host birthday parties, community meetings, classes, and other small gatherings. 

All options include adequate parking, lobby, office, locker/changing, and storage facilities. 

Option B Plan

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A 4-lane lap pool with a recreation area and hot tub.
The 4 lap lanes could support lap swimming, upper-level swim lessons, and swim team and triathlon training. When not in use, the 4 lap lanes could offer a recreation area for activities like swim lessons, aqua exercise, and recreational swimming. (Same as Option A) 

A large flexible gymnasium that can be configured for 1 full-size basketball court, or 2 small basketball courts, or volleyball courts, or 4 pickleball courts. Other active uses could be accommodated in this flexible space. (Same as Option A) 

In addition to a party/multipurpose room next to the pool, Option B includes a second multipurpose room on the second floor. 

An elevated track above the gym and pool—enclosed for temperature and humidity control—could accommodate walking and jogging year-round. 

A seasonal outdoor splash pad connected to the indoor pool could offer outdoor aquatic activity for younger children. 

A covered outdoor turf field could be used to practice soccer, lacrosse, flag football, baseball/softball (infield training), and other field sports. (Same as Option B) 

All options include adequate parking, lobby, office, locker/changing, and storage facilities. 

Option C Plan

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A
6-lane lap pool with a recreation area and hot tub, adding 2 additional lanes to the pool in Options A and B. The 6-lane pool would be large enough for the activities described in Options A and B as well as competitive swim meets.   

A large flexible gymnasium twice the size of the gym in Options A and B that can be configured for 2 full-size basketball courts, or 4 small basketball courts, or 4 volleyball courts, or 8 pickleball courts. Other active uses could be accommodated in this flexible space. 

In addition to a party/multipurpose room next to the pool, Option C includes a second multipurpose room on the second floor. (Same as Option B) 

An elevated track above the gym and pool—enclosed for temperature and humidity control—could accommodate walking and jogging year-round. (Same as Option B) 

A seasonal outdoor splash pad connected to the indoor pool could offer outdoor aquatic activity for younger children. (Same as Option B) 

A covered outdoor turf field could be used to practice soccer, lacrosse, flag football, baseball/softball (infield training), and other field sports. (Same as Option B) 

4 acres of additional outdoor amenities, possibly including a soccer/football field, baseball field, playground, and other uses to be determined. 

All options include adequate parking, lobby, office, locker/changing, and storage facilities.

Cost-Related Questions


Cost-Related Questions


We wish the answer to this question were short, but it isn’t.  There are several components of costs that will be funded in various ways.  To get a good understanding of how a community recreation center might be funded in our community, the complete answer to your question is explained here.

The two main categories of costs are (1) capital costs – to design and construct a facility and (2) operations and maintenance (O&M) costs – for ongoing salaries and wages, utilities, insurance, repairs, etc., once the facility is open and operating. Both categories of costs are being estimated as part of the Feasibility Study.
 

  • Capital costs would be covered through fundraising and a bond financed by a capital levy.
  • Operating costs would be covered through user fees and an operations levy.

A 2002 Development Agreement between the City of Cle Elum has already provided $2 million toward design and construction and committed an additional $2 million in the future. In addition, the Project Committee will launch a capital campaign, targeting individuals and foundations; public and private grants; and federal, state, and local government funds. Our target for the capital campaign is $4-5 million. The remaining capital costs would be financed by a capital levy and paid by the community over time. A capital levy requires approval by at least 60% of the voters.

Yes, the subsidy factors in fees for service that are appropriate for the type of facility and the market rates for use of similar public facilities in the region. The subsidy is the difference between the cost of operations and income generated by the facility itself. It is currently set on the high side. The exact level of the annual subsidy varies with the option. Estimated costs of operation, fees for use, and potential revenue for each option are shown here.

O&M costs would be financed through an O&M levy. An O&M levy requires approval by more than 50% of the voters.

Fees for use of the facility will cover a portion of operating costs. Users of the facility would contribute revenues through:

  • Day use fees or discounted 10-day, monthly, or annual passes, with a further discount for households.
  • Class fees. Fitness classes, including aquatic classes, would be covered by a pass, but passholders would pay for other classes, with a 10-15% discount).

These are all summarized here. Non-residents would pay about 30% more than residents. Scholarships would be available to support access for all.

If you don’t own property, you would pay for use of the facility only if you choose to.

If you own property
, you would pay a share of the capital and operating levies relative to the assessed value of your property. You would also pay for use of the facility if you choose to.

Property owners will pay taxes on the capital and operating levies. These costs are summarized here.

Depending on the final option chosen, the costs may be in the middle range of other facilities. We are aiming to build a facility that reflects feedback from the community about the three options. The “preferred” option will be the one the community will be asked to support financially, and is also an attractive, well-constructed facility.

We have made every effort to be as conservative with estimates as possible. We believe our numbers are realistic and achievable, and they consider normal, expected short-term cost increases. Particularly over the long-term, it is difficult to predict construction and labor costs which may change due to unforeseen reasons. 

Frequently Asked Questions


The Upper Kittitas County (UKC) region does not currently have a community center or public recreation facility. Rather than jumping straight into designing and building a new community center, this feasibility study will:
 

  • Identify programs and features that would meet the needs and interests of the community
  • Estimate costs of designing, building, maintaining, and operating a community center
  • Determine if a community recreation center is desired, feasible, and worth pursuing

This process is being led by the Upper Kittitas County Community Recreation Center Alliance (UKC CRCA) with support from the City of Cle Elum, City of Roslyn, the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District, and the Shoemaker Foundation.

The Upper Kittitas Community Recreation Center Alliance (UKC CRCA) is a new non-profit organization located in Kittitas County. The UKC CRCA was formed specifically to assess the feasibility of a community recreation center, determining what the community would like to see built, and coordinating the design and construction of a facility if it is found to be desired and feasible. The UKC CRCA’s first step has been to commission a feasibility study to gauge interest in a potential recreation center.

Members of the UKC CRCA team include:

    • Claire Hein Nicholls | Shoemaker Foundation | Board Chair
    • Melissa Becker | Shoemaker Foundation
    • Gary Berndt | City of Cle Elum; Upper Kittitas County Rotary; Washington State DNR
    • Gina Harris | Resident
    • Marc Kirkpatrick | Upper Kittitas County Rotary; Cle Elum Downtown Association
    • Michelle Kuss-Cybula | Cle Elum-Roslyn School District
    • Andrew Lyons | HopeSource
    • Jay McGowan | City of Cle Elum
    • Tom Missel | City of Roslyn
    • Bill Vertrees | Leader of facilities design and construction for two large Washington universities. Retired.

A community recreation center is not being built at this time. The UKC CRCA is conducting a feasibility study with support from a consultant team with relevant expertise to determine if a community recreation center is desired, economically feasible, and worth pursuing. If the feasibility indicates that the answer is “Yes”, we will then proceed with detailed design, fundraising, and construction.

In late 2020, a 12.2-acre parcel of land near the Cle Elum-Roslyn schools and a commitment for $4 million were secured from Suncadia. The UKC CRCA engaged a consultant team to conduct a feasibility study in July 2021.

As of early 2022, we are still in the feasibility phase of the project. We have learned through extensive surveys and interviews what amenities the community deems most important in a community recreation center. Now we are bringing back to the community three high-level designs and preliminary cost estimates so the community can further refine their “wants” while also considering the relative costs. 

In survey and small group discussion format, the community will have the opportunity to review and react to three flexible options, further prioritizing amenities based on how much they are willing to spend. The community will be able to “mix and match” among these options, balancing the scale, complexity, and number of amenities with their costs. 

In late 2020, a 12.2-acre parcel of land near the Cle Elum-Roslyn schools and a commitment for $4 million were secured from Suncadia.

Our approach combines engagement with stakeholders and members of the community with quantitative and qualitative research. We would like to learn about people’s interests and priorities and understand underlying financial conditions that may support or challenge a potential community recreation center.

We are exploring the feasibility of building a community recreation center that would first and foremost meet the recreation and community needs of local residents. That is our primary goal. That being said, you can click here to learn more about how visitors can provide a source of funding for maintenance and operations.

In 2002, the City of Cle Elum and what is now Suncadia entered into a Development Agreement for Bullfrog Flats. One of many components of that Development Agreement was for Suncadia to donate 12 acres of land (located off Bullfrog Road near the schools) and certain amenities, expressly for a community center. In 2020, the City of Cle Elum and Suncadia reached an agreement regarding this long-standing obligation which provided for the transfer of 12 acres (almost complete) and contribution of $4 million in funding. So far, $400,000 has been received by the City of Cle Elum and is currently being used to fund the feasibility study. The funds remaining after the feasibility study, plus another $1.6 million due December 31, 2021, will be used toward detailed architectural design and construction. The final $2 million will be paid upon completion of a certain number of residential units in Bullfrog Flats. The $4 million is not, and was never intended to be enough to build and maintain a community center. The land and initial funding provide us with a substantial basis for securing additional donations and grants. However, additional funding will need to be raised.

No, this project is not connected to the 47 Degrees North development. This is a completely separate process that is being led by theUpper Kittitas County Community Recreation Center Alliance (UKC CRCA)with support from the City of Cle Elum, City of Roslyn, the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District, and the Shoemaker Foundation.

Yes, there have been previous efforts around a community center. While those haven’t been successful, there’s been continued interest to create an amenity for residents. This effort is really focused on understanding community interest and priorities and determining if a community recreation center is feasible. The current phase is a feasibility study to answer those questions. There is also a 12.2-acre parcelof landnearthe Cle Elum-Roslyn schoolsand a commitment for $4 millionweresecured from Suncadia.

We are starting with a feasibility study. Rather thanjumping straightintodesigning and building anewcommunity center we want to identifyprograms andfeaturesthatwouldmeet the needsand interestsof thecommunity;estimatecostsof designing,building, maintaining,and operatinga community center; anddetermineifa community recreation center is desired, feasible, and worth pursuing.

Based on the results of the fall 2021survey—as well as interviews with representatives of eighteen community groups representing youth, sports, seniors, non-profits, faith-based organizations, and othersthe Project Committee is proposing three flexible options that include both construction and maintenance and operation costs in the order of lowest, medium, and highest costs.

The Project Committee will take this round of feedback from the community about the three options and prepare a “preferred” option, which may combine elements of the three options presented. The preferred option will be the one the community will be asked to support financially by voting on capital and operating levies in the future.

Yes. We understand that building “everything” now may have lower total costs due to economies of scale and future costs are likely to be higher than they are presently. However, building “everything” may cost more than the community is currently willing to spend or support. If the public chooses less than a full build-out as a “Phase I,” we will focus on a facility design that can be expanded in the future. While total costs will likely be higher in the long run, a phased project allows the highest priorities to be addressed now at a lower short-term cost to the community.

The community recreation center is intended to complement Cle Elum-Roslyn School District facilities and programs. CERSD will continue to provide facilities to support school sports and activities. The community recreation center could, as requested by the community’s input in the surveys and interviews, add a swimming pool as a new opportunity for youth and adults. In addition, CERSD does not have the space to accommodate the needs of various groups such as youth basketball, adult basketball, community volleyball and other non-school related sports groups as well as groups that support the arts. The schools also do not have adequate capacity for off-season practice or for spring sports practice when the outdoors are still under snow.

The Feasibility Study will determine whether the community is willing and able to finance a community recreation center. If the answer is “yes,” the Project Committee will explore and propose options for professional private or public management of the center. In any case, the Project Committee will ensure experienced personnel are in place for the ongoing operations and maintenance of the facility. The costs of these personnel will be included in the cost estimates presented to the public during the Feasibility Study, based on input from the consultants, who have experience in recreation center operations.  

Get Involved


Get Involved


There are several ways to get involved. You can:

  • Sign up to receive project updates
  • Support the UKC CRCA by donating time, treasure, or talent. Contact us at [email protected]