Expansions on Platte County community centers move forward

03/12/2013 1:47 PM

05/16/2014 9:28 PM

Plans to expand two community centers in Platte County are taking big steps forward with groundbreakings on more space for larger pools, children’s play and exercise.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the community centers will held Monday in separate events. The first begins at 11:30 a.m. at the YMCA center at 3101 Running Horse Road in Platte City. At 1:30 p.m., officials will break ground for the center at 8875 Clark Ave. in Parkville.

The construction is in response to citizen surveys conducted several years ago. The results found that residents wanted more trails, additional indoor recreation programs and expansion of the community centers, said Platte County Parks and Recreation director Brian Nowotny.

“The county has done very intense planning for the past two years towards these two expansion projects,” Nowotny said.

The county is collaborating with the YMCA to operate the community centers in Parkville and Platte City. Both locations are large enough to add more family programs with expansions, he said.

Additions to the Platte City facilities will include space for group exercise, an expanded kids area, more workout equipment and an eight-lane competition swimming pool.

The Platte County R-3 School District will use the pools as part of a partnership with the parks department.

The district will hold swimming competitions and also use the pools for swim practice and gym classes. When the district is not using the pool, it will be open to YMCA members for lap swimming, water aerobic classes and the club’s swim team, Nowotny said.

The expansion work costs about $12.5 million, and the school district will contribute to the capital and overall operating cost, Nowotny said.

The Parkville location will have similar improvements. That includes a larger workout area, more space for children’s programs and four new swimming lanes. Construction cost at the Parkville site is $6.8 million.

Both Parkville and Platte City governments, along with the Mid Continent Public Library and the YMCA, are working with the parks department on the projects, Nowotny said.

Money generated from the county’s half-cent sales tax for county parks is being used to fund the expansion work.

In August 2009, voters agreed to extend the half-cent sales tax. Voters initially approved the tax in 2000. It has paid for the two community centers and new parks and trails. It also provides grant money for recreation and arts programs. Grants are awarded to school districts and other entities.

The measure is expected to generate about $7 million this year.

Nowotny said the facilities will remain open while the construction continues. Access to the swimming pools and other areas will limited at various times. Work on both projects is scheduled to completed next summer.

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