Auburn residents have prioritized needing new community centers for quite some time now. Two proposed new parks and recreation community centers in Auburn will provide the community with much-needed recreation spaces as well as fulfill the numerous requests from Auburn residents.
Two New Parks and Recreation Community Centers in Auburn
The Auburn City Council recently met to discuss the draft of the biennial budget for the fiscal year 2023-2024. At this meeting, they heard about two upcoming projects funded by the proposed budget.
As a response to the requests of Auburn residents, this budget proposes two main capital investment projects. These projects are the development of two new parks and rec community centers in Auburn.
Boykin Donahue Campus
The first project is the development of the Boykin Donahue Campus. Construction of this campus will take place in multiple phases.
Adjacent to the Boykin Donahue Campus is the city’s Public Works and Environmental Services. With both of these set for relocation, this site will turn into the new recreation center and cultural resource center.
The first phase will include walking trails, a splash pad, a cultural center, branch library, and a recycling drop-off center. The Auburn City Council has estimated that the construction start date is within the 2023 fiscal year.
For funding of this phase, the city is suggesting directing nearly $11 million of the American Rescue Plan Act. The American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, has an overall budget of 27 million and provides federal funds to help cities recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Most of the money is directed toward responding to public health emergencies, but there is an allotment that can be added to the city’s general fund to make up for lost revenue in 2020.
Even with this allotment, though, some of the campus elements cannot be completed until a second phase. The second phase will include a gym with both basketball courts and classrooms. More information on this project can be found at the following link.
Lake Wilmore Community Center
The second project has a budget of $22 million and will include some of the elements postponed at the Boykin Donahue Campus. The development of Lake Wilmore Community Center will include two full-sized basketball courts, locker rooms, multiple activity rooms, an elevated walking track, a zero-entry pool, and many other needed amenities.
A big concern among Auburn residents has been the lack of accessible therapeutic pools in the community since the closing of the Health Plus pool in 2020. With this in mind, Lake Wilmore will have an accessible heated pool, have areas for water aerobics and lap swimming, and will also have a pool cover that will allow for winter use.
Originally, this project was proposed in 2020 but was postponed. Luckily, this means the majority of the project design has already taken place, allowing for the project to start rather quickly. Bidding for the center should start at the beginning of the 2023 fiscal year in October. Construction is estimated to take 12 to 18 months.
In addition to the Lake Wilmore Community Center, the city is also proposing four multipurpose fields to host a variety of sports, including football, soccer, and lacrosse. This project, slated for the 2024 fiscal year, proposed a budget of $15 million. For more information on this park please visit the City of Auburn’s website.
These new parks and recreation community centers in Auburn are the city’s response to the many requests of Auburn residents. Community members have been expressing the need for new recreational centers for years, and the city of Auburn has heard them.
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