Plan Unveiled But Will Grand Junction Ever Get A Community Rec Center?
Is a community recreation center in Grand Junction's near future?
Here Is A Riddle
What is it that Montrose, Delta, Fruita, Durango, and Gunnison have that Grand Junction doesn't have? The answer, of course, is a community recreation center. Montrose was the latest western Colorado town to get a rec center when voters approved a measure in 2014 and the facility was completed in 2017.
In 2019, following years of unsuccessful votes and numerous community surveys, it looked like Grand Junction would finally be getting a recreation center, but voters rejected a .39% sales tax increase that would have funded the new facility. The measure was rejected by a margin of 55% to 45%. Voters will get another stab at it in the spring of 2023.
What's Different Now?
One major difference now that makes it seem more likely that a community center in Grand Junction will become reality is the projected tax revenue from marijuana sales in Grand Junction. While the tax dollars from cannabis alone are not enough to fully fund the new facility, results of a survey conducted by the city of Grand Junction indicate nearly 70% of respondents would support a sales tax or property tax increase. Nearly 80% of those responding said they would support a 15% tax on nicotine products.
How Big Would the Rec Center Be?
While the city of Grand Junction awaits voter approval for funding of a rec center, it has continued with the planning stages - now focusing on a facility that would be 65,000 square feet or 83,000 square feet. The total cost of a new rec center could be anywhere from $55 million to $70 million depending on the size.
Where Would the Rec Center Be Located?
Two locations for a new rec center in Grand Junction have been considered, but the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has unanimously selected Matchett Park on Patterson as the location for a number of reasons including the opportunity for future expansion. The CRC survey indicated that 50% of respondents preferred the Matchett Park location while 33% were in favor of Lincoln Park.
What Does the Proposed Rec Center In Grand Junction Look Like?
If you are interested in knowing about the proposed rec center and the planning process, a public workshop is being held on Tuesday, September 20 at Faith Heights Church at 28 1/2 and Patterson starting at 6:00 p.m. This is a perfect opportunity to get in the know about the proposed rec center
Will Grand Junction Voters Finally Approve Funding For A Rec Center?
It's impossible to know what the future holds for Grand Junction and a new rec center. Since the 2019 ballot failure, the city points to other community needs that have been met through ballot measures including a 0.5% First Responder Tax for Fire & Police, $70 million in debt funding for road improvements with no new taxes, and the $115 million bond funding approval for the new Grand Junction High School.
Other Communities Have Built Rec Centers, Why Not Grand Junction?
Several western Colorado communities have managed to build rec centers in recent years. Here's a look at what's happened in other cities.
The city of Montrose approved a rec center in 2014. The facility is 80,000 square feet and receives about 1,000 visitors a day. The Montrose Rec Center has a warm water leisure pool, cool water lap pool, hot water wellness pool, 3 court gymnasium, 2 racquetball courts, 27-foot climbing wall, 5,000 square foot fully equipped weight room, indoor walking/jogging track, game room, and FitZone Aerobics Studio.
The Fruita Rec Center passed in 2008 and opened in 2011. The 50,000-square-foot facility offers not just recreational opportunities but also includes a Senior Center, Mesa County Library Fruita Branch, and meeting rooms.
The Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta is a 52,000-square-foot facility that first opened its doors in 1993. The facility features a pool, gymnasium for basketball, volleyball, and pickleball, racquetball courts, a weight room, meeting rooms, and a kitchen facility.
Maybe Grand Junction Is Next
It's hard to believe that a city the size of Grand Junction does not have a recreation center. There are so many great facilities in a town like Stocker Stadium, and Suplizio Field, Canyon View Park, and Lincoln Park, but a rec center has been elusive. This is the perfect time to have all of your questions answered and maybe help Grand Junction along in its quest for a new community rec center. It may be now or never.
25 Grand Junction Memories From the Last 25 Years
Then and Now: More Dramatic Changes In Grand Junction