The La Grande City Council asked for more information about a potential new community recreation center at Monday’s work session.

La Grande Parks and Recreation Director Stu Spence led the work session by saying the department is hearing complaints about not having enough gym space during the winter to house the basketball teams who use the available gyms. In 2016, community members in the area told Spence youth sports are in demand, but there’s not enough room for everyone.

Spence is proposing that a new city recreation center be built on a two-acre plot of land at the La Grande Business and Technology Park, which is next to the UPS site near Highway 30, where a CrossFit gym had been proposed during the Call for Projects in 2016. That proposal has since fallen through.

The plan for the recreation center is at the very beginning stages, Spence said. The parcel of land costs approximately $81,000. Spence and City Manager Robert Strope talked about possibly using funds accrued from system development charges, which are fees paid for by developers when new houses are built in La Grande. In the City of La Grande, SDC fees are set aside for new parks and rec facilities and to expand current facilities, Spence said. There is an estimated $250,000 of funds, including from the SDC budget, available to go toward the project.

The total cost of the project, including a proposed private day care, is $2 to $3 million.

See complete story in Wednesday's Observer

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