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Rec expansion plans face public scrutiny

Broadway Middle School could figure in proposal
By R.J. Marx

The Daily Astorian

Published on February 22, 2018 3:46PM

Last changed on March 2, 2018 9:50AM

The enhanced plan considers purchase of a portion of Broadway Middle School for part of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.

R.J. Marx/SEASIDE SIGNAL

The enhanced plan considers purchase of a portion of Broadway Middle School for part of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.

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Plans showing an expansion base plan, with a projected price cost of $12 million to $15 million.

R.J. Marx/ SEASIDE SIGNAL

Plans showing an expansion base plan, with a projected price cost of $12 million to $15 million.

Buy this photo

Is fitness space in short supply in Seaside? If so, will voters endorse a plan to expand facilities?

On Tuesday, the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District presented two scenarios to expand and retrofit the center at 1140 Broadway, a 33,000-square-foot base plan adding a second floor to the existing aquatic building and an enhanced design proposal using portions of neighboring Broadway Middle School, for sale by the Seaside School District as it constructs a new campus in the Southeast Hills.

Ken Ballard of Ballard King and Associates and Jim Kalvelage of Opsis Architecture delivered concepts for what district executive director Skyler Archibald called a “flexible and accommodating” building expansion.

“For 40 years the district has provided an amazing facility with the Sunset Pool, but we’re under-serving our need,” Archibald said.


Plan in focus


Last May, district board members discussed possibility of “some kind of expansion,” either funded through a bond or system development charges ­— the fees paid by builders to the city for essential infrastructure.

A series of meetings and focus groups representing different members of the community met in November.

On their wish lists, residents sought gym space, jogging track, fitness amenities, preschool activities and community rooms, Ballard said. “Those were the ones that kept coming to the top from all the groups we talked to.”

The base plan adds a second level, new entrance, more efficient office layout and gym to the Sunset aquatic facility. First-floor space would likely total around 6,500 square feet with second floor space nearing the same total amount. The gym space and walking track above would likely total around 15,000 square feet. Two preschool rooms, a 1,500-square-foot administrative office, lobby expansion, party room and storage are included, with costs for the base plan from $15 million to $18 million, Ballard said.

Expansion at the middle school as outlined in the enhanced plan could add another $7 million to $9 million to the project, excluding the cost of the acquisition of the building. The enhanced plan includes a nearly 4,000-square-foot community room, kitchen, three preschool rooms, a 2,500-square-foot teen room and a 2,600-foot outdoor courtyard.


Expenses, revenues


Annual operating expenses are projected at $700,000 for the base option, with revenues of $525,000.

“That’s looking at an operational shortfall of about $175,000 per year,” Ballard said. “Public facilities don’t typically cover their operating costs generated by the facility. But for the population base you have, it’s really a strong cross-revenue number.”

Under the enhanced scenario, annual expenses would approach $1 million. Revenues “go up some, but not a lot,” Ballard said, reaching about $625,000, for a shortfall of $375,000 per year.

In either option, space could be freed up at the Bob Chisholm Center for senior and community activities. “You still have more bandwidth in this building for other community uses,” Kalvelage said.

Residents expressed concern about additional taxes at a time the school district is undertaking its $99.7 million expansion.

“You’re going to have one tough sell,” Seaside’s Dallas Cook said.

Consultants will likely deliver a draft final report within the next couple of months.

At that point, a steering committee could make a recommendation to the board, Archibald said. “Obviously (there are) a lot of factors that could affect that timeline and they may get to that point and decide not to put something on the ballot at this time.”

Any decision would need approval by voters. If a plan is adopted, construction could be completed by 2021, Ballard said. “Obviously the base option is more affordable. It’s an investment. And it’s a choice people make.”



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