The Proposed Community Center
A lot of people have asked where I on stand on the Community Center. Here’s what I’ve been telling them:
I'm in favor of a new Community Center. I believe a Community Center that includes amenities like meeting rooms, workout facilities, and an aquatic feature will be a great community asset. A multi-generational, multi-use facility would be a great asset for Bloomington. And the fact that Creekside Community Center has outlived its useful life and is not worth investing in any longer can't be ignored.
The City Council has been discussing a proposed Community Center for five years and has looked a number of possible sites and funding structures. The Valley View site is the best option because it’s large enough and it’s owned by the City. I was a big proponent of siting a new community center on the current Creekside site, but the truth is that the site simply isn't large enough. The City would need to build a parking ramp which would make the entire project too expensive. I’ve seen the Lincoln High School site mentioned as a possible option, but the City doesn’t own that site and acquisition costs would be high.
I chose not to sign the pledge regarding Valley View because I don't make decisions on issues where I don't have all of the information. As I stated, I believe Valley View is the best option but I’m still waiting for answers to questions around traffic, parking, building massing, and how the current park amenities will be accommodated. Locking into a pledge without knowing all of the details is irresponsible and is a bad way to go about making public policy.
Finally, I’ve said all along that I’m strongly in favor of bringing the question of a Community Center to the voters of Bloomington. This is a big community decision and it should be made by the entire community.