Breakthrough plan for rec center

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 27 2013 | 12:01 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 12:01 pm in

By The Gazette Editorial Board

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One thing that seems clear regarding Cedar Rapidsí still-pending Time Check Recreation Center project: No matter what site is selected for rebuilding the facility destroyed in the 2008 flood, some folks wonít be happy.

Nonetheless, itís time to get the relocation plan settled and finally get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to sign off and release the $3 million it would provide for a new center. And while the latest site recommendation ó Cleveland Park ó doesnít satisfy everyone, we think it has a lot going for it.

A second city task force recommended that location in late January after a year of exploring various options. The committee dealt with FEMAís rejection several months ago of a proposal to build near the original site in Time Check because itís in the 100-year flood plain.

While the Cleveland Park site would move the recreation center farther from the heart of the Time Check neighborhood, we see several pluses for the near-west-side area. The most important: Many children would be served because of its proximity to Cleveland, Harrison and Taylor elementary schools and Roosevelt Middle School. The site is well out of the flood zone. The new center would occupy a relatively small footprint, preserving the sports fields, park shelter and playground, albeit with some moving. The plan also calls for a buffer to address concerns of neighbors whose homes back up to the park. Activities for seniors could be included.

This plan has much potential. Details will be discussed at a 6:30 p.m. public hearing March 5 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1363 First Ave. SW. We encourage residents to bring questions and an open mind to the meeting. This is probably the last major city flood projects yet to be set in motion.

After nearly five years without this important public resource, itís time to move ahead.

Comments: editorial@sourcemedia.net or (319) 398-8262

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