Council delays action on rec center / senior center plans

Do it right the first time, or not…

I was pretty strongly opposed to throwing another $2.3 million at a mediocre plan, maybe time will show this it the best we can do.  Right now the design fails basic urban design and transit orientation principles.  We have not done enough in terms of quality site planning and transit planning.  We certainly have not engaged the public.  We need to look if we can do more as part with public private partnerships.  Public discussion will take place on March 17.

As an absolute minimum, I want a great site plan that can be implemented over time and a well thought out transit node.

More later, including my recording.

I have a few issues with the REC center side.  Senior Center Issues – Don’t confuse support for project vs. Senior Center.  Hurry up and do it wrong.  Can’t show current plans.

Failed to engage community.  Send a message that you don’t matter.

  • Comp Planning – Transit portion
  • Community Engagement
  • CUDE
  • Energy Commission
  • Park Board?
  • Seniors?

Very concerned about the Senior Center proposal. It is a costly investment in a mediocre facility that ignores potential partners, responsible transit, good urban design, responsible land use, and the existing budget. As a community we can do better.

Greatest concern: spend $20 million on an obsolete building and ending up with a bigger obsolete building.  Actually spending $22.3 million for obsolete.

We don’t need to do this now.  Rate of construction inflation is not that different than interest on bonded dollars.

Urban Design 101 –

  • Fail to analyze site plan.
  • Fail to engage transit corridors.
  • Fail to embrace the river.
  • Fail to create positive pedestrian environment. Service drive / parking
  • Fail to find highest and best use of plan.
  • Elton Hills Dr. and Broadway, huge potential as a transit node.

Failed to engage partners –

  • No discussion of restaurant partners.
  • No discussion with senior / TOD / Affordable housing partners.
  • No discussion with hoteliers.

Failed to make needed energy improvements.  Failed energy design.

Rec Center cut:

  • Cooling tower replacement
  • Aquatic center
  • Pool air handling


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