New, larger Rec Center under studyFacility would be built near Cadwell complex.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
A large, new Rec Center is still under consideration for Mitchell, according to Mitchell Parks and Recreation Director Dusty Rodiek.
“It’s still a potential option,” Rodiek said this week. “We’re looking at the funding or the price tag on that.
Jeff Larson, the owner of Quality Homes in Mitchell, put together a draft of the proposed new Rec Center this spring. Larson said he did so to add it to the public discussion.
“Just a dream of ours,” he said.
Larson brought the proposal to the Parks and Recreation Board on May 8 and it included “potential sports fields, batting cages, indoor pool, basketball, and tennis and racquetball courts.”
The building would be located near the south end of the Cadwell Sports Complex by Eighth Street and the bypass, he said.
“It adds more sports into the arena,” Larson said. “Indoor football, indoor baseball, tennis, basketball … it’s got about everything that I visualize the city needs.”
Rodiek presented a brief report on the proposed Rec Center to the City Council at its July 2 meeting. It included drawings, but he said they are early versions. This week, Rodiek said he’s still working on a cost estimate and does not yet have a number to release.
During that meeting, the council and new Mayor Ken Tracy wanted to review all proposed major projects.
They decided to move ahead on a second sheet of ice for the Mitchell Activities Center while also considering other plans, including expanding and improving the Corn Palace and relocating City Hall.
Rodiek said if the new Rec Center is built, the current facility could be offered to the Mitchell School District, either for sale or as a donation.
But he said any movement on a new facility is up to the city’s elected leaders.
“That will actually be the council’s decision,” he said. “If there is some private funding available, that may sway it one way or the other. I know they have a lot of other projects on their plate.”
Larson, 45, said he favors the new center to provide more opportunities for local athletes and also as a way to bring more people to the city.
“We have plenty of backing behind us, from baseball, tennis, swimming,” he said. “I just want the city to look at something that had everything in there.”
He coaches the Mitchell Mustangs, a baseball team of 8-year-olds, and has three sons who play sports.
“My boys play ... they try to do it all,” Larson said. “There’s also been a lot of talk about a swimming pool. So what I did was put together a multi-purpose unit.”
He said the large new facility could be used by local teams all year.
The Dakota Wesleyan University baseball team could take infield when its usual field is covered in snow and ice, he said.
Tennis players could hit the courts year-round and other athletes would have more opportunities to practice and play.
Larson said that would mean more events in Mitchell, which would mean more people coming here and spending money.
Rodiek said if it’s approved, he sees a public-private partnership to make it a reality.
“My hope would be a combination,” he said.