Riverside Park eyed for multipurpose building

Work session tentatively planned for Dec. 17 to discuss details

The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission is moving forward with plans for a multipurpose building, looking at possibly placing the new facility in Riverside Park.

Bill Lockwood, director of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, said the commission has been focusing on Riverside Park as the potential site for the planned multipurpose building, though no official decision has been made.

“The commission has more or less settled in on Riverside Park as the site to focus on,” Lockwood said. “We’ll have to do some further investigation.”

That investigation will look at how feasible it would be to build in Riverside Park, he said. If the ground is all rock, construction costs will dramatically increase, something the commission is trying to avoid.

Lockwood said the commission has not decided where specifically in Riverside Park the multipurpose building would be located.

Lockwood said the commission is tentatively planning a work session Dec. 17 to discuss the multipurpose building. Lockwood said the work session is expected to be conducted in open session, though that decision has yet to be made.

The work session will focus on setting a timeline for moving forward with the project and looking at whether they can add any features or increase the size of the facility, Lockwood said.

When seeking an architectural firm to work with on the project, the facility was proposed to be 40,000 to 50,000 square feet and capable of hosting multiple athletic game courts, as well as being able to accommodate theater productions, concerts and day camps. The facility would have three to four basketball courts and six to eight volleyball courts, as well as the possibility of having a future phase to incorporate meeting rooms, administrative offices, weight/cardiovascular fitness and aquatic areas.

Earlier this year, the department announced the selection of Hastings & Chivetta, a St. Louis architectural firm, for the multipurpose building project.

The commission also may discuss some potential fundraising plans to help supplement the department’s budget for the project.

Previously, the multipurpose building was expected to cost $6 million, which included site acquisition, architectural fees and building construction. An earlier draft funding plan for the facility outlined more than $3.6 million from the local park sales tax, $460,695 from capital improvements sales tax E, $1.15 million from the capital improvements sales tax F, and $466,991 from the park fund balance.

Lockwood said by using the Riverside Park location, the commission could avoid any site acquisition costs because it is already owned by the department.

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