Recreation commission continues discussions on facility upgrades, priorities and payment methods

Lee Beran Recreation Center. Photo from KVOE News File.

With a ton of potential projects in multiple locations across the city, Emporia’s Recreation Commission is trying to decide how best to make the improvements — and which projects take priority.

The Rec Committee continued discussions on projects, priorities and payment methods at its monthly meeting on Monday. Board member Dave Harding told KVOE News Emporia that KVOE’s parks and recreation facilities have seen heavy use over the past two years.

Board members discussed ideas for Santa Fe and Whittier Parks, as well as the DeBauge Family Sports Complex and Lee Beran Recreation Center. Parking is a problem in DeBauge, Santa Fe and Whittier, and grass fields can come in DeBauge and Whittier.

For the Rec Center, Harding admits it takes a lot.

The Recreation Commission’s current goal is to maintain the Recreation Center in the same general area near downtown Emporia.

Early projections had total costs close to $40 million, so the Rec Commission is looking at both external funding — private donations and grants, among other revenue sources — and lists of potential priorities. There will be more conversations at the board meeting in December.

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Elaine R. Knight