2016 Proposed Bond Issue Community Input Process
Citizen guidance and insight has been the most important part of the potential 2016 bond issue process for over four years. We welcome additional feedback and input; please email email@example.com if you have comments or questions about the projects or the input process. For info on ‘Ballot Issue A’ please visit apexprd.org/bond.
Reconvening of the Vision 2020 Committee in 2012
The 2012 Vision 2020 citizen committee began meeting in January 2012 with the defined purpose to review the current status of the District’s Master Plan, completed projects since the 2005 Vision 2020 meetings and proposed repair and renovation projects for existing facilities. Committee members came from all sectors within the District; many had participated in the 2005 Vision 2020 group. The basic road map during the 2012 review was based on advice from community members during the past several years. In June the committee presented the Vision 2020 Board Report 2012.
In October 2012, GreenPlay LLC began working with the District to help assess the needs and support for various potential District options, as described in the Vision 2020 report and elsewhere.
GreenPlay led a community survey with National Research Center as a subcontractor. The District created a citizen engagement website, engageapexprd.com, via MindMixer. The results, the Community Needs Assessment Final Report Presentation and MindMixer Report, were presented to the Board of Directors by Apex Park and Recreation District staff and GreenPlay staff at the June 6, 2013 board meeting.
At the May 2, 2013 Board of Directors meeting GreenPlay presented the Written Survey Preliminary Results. As stated in the meeting minutes,
“John Barnholt, Senior Project Consultant with GreenPlay, presented a power point presentation and stated that the findings include demographics, survey and areas of focus. Mr. Barnholt pointed out that the demographic analysis showed that the median age for the District is forecast to be 41.5 in 2017 with the current 55-85+ age group to increase 11% by 2017. Mr. Barnholt added that the response rate for the written survey was 19% which is outstanding. A 10% response is usually a good expectation. The response to questions concerning number of residents using Apex (PRD) facilities, the quality of facilities and programs and the purpose of District offerings were all favorable. Also, the questions concerning support for capital projects and willingness to continue a mil levy had strong support, willingness to increase a mil levy showed somewhat of a support. Board discussion ensued concerning the findings.”
Discussion Concerning East Side Recreation Center
Mike Miles, Executive Director, gave a presentation on the proposed East Side Recreation Center at the Arvada Center, 6901 Wadsworth Blvd., and answered questions at the Arvada City Council Meeting on August 12, 2013. The City had not yet completed its study on the governance issue of the Arvada Center. Ultimately, the City Council’s decision was that the Arvada Center site was not a good fit for a recreation center.
The Board of Directors decided in October 2014 to move forward to plan for a bond renewal election with this updated list of projects identified by the Vision 2020 committee as priorities.
- The East Side Recreation Center was a high priority, with placement at the Secrest site now that the Arvada Center site was no longer an option. In the 2006 election, the expansion of Secrest Center was defeated. The plan at this time would be for large recreation center with a field house addition and to create a neighborhood park.
- The Apex Center upgrades would include the remodel of the indoor playground and the addition of an outdoor splash pad and slides adjacent to the pool area.
- Lutz Sports Complex would include the completion of the second four-field pod with concessions and restrooms. The lighting needs replacing but the new pods would be completed before light replacement.
- Long Lake Ranch would include the addition of sports fields. Association input indicated support for completion of the original five-field baseball area and a designated football only stadium. Staff suggested to complete the baseball pod and add multi-use turf fields according to the master plan.
- Arvada Tennis Center renovation would include the re-construction of the existing eight courts to post-tension subsurface and possibly the covering of four courts for year round play. Another consideration would be to add more courts depending on site restrictions.
- The maintenance building at Indian Tree Golf Club is very old and needs major renovation. The building is built in a horseshoe shape, and covering the existing open area in the center would provide much needed additional storage space for equipment, as well as an expanded work area, during the winter months.
Mr. Miles proposed that public meetings should begin in early to mid-2015 to gather input on these projects, during which time the City of Arvada would also be working on its parks master plan, allowing for the possibility of joint public meetings. These meetings would include invitations to the original Vision 2020 committee members. Their input, along with public session opportunities for input, would help develop a solid plan for moving forward toward an election.
In September of 2012, significant problems were discovered along the south wall of Meyers Pool. Saunders Construction opened five sections of the exterior wall and found two other sections had similar deterioration to the worst beams on the north wall. JVA Engineers completed a design to shore up all of the columns and Meyers Pool re-opened in early December.
Engineers have told us that the pool’s expected lifespan is until 2024-25. While that seems far in the future, planning to replace such a major asset takes a long time.
The primary challenge is that replacing a 50-meter pool such as Meyers would cost $28-$30 million in 2016 dollars. That cost is about the same as the total amount for all six projects listed on the May 3 ballot proposing the renewal of the existing Apex PRD bond.
Another issue is that Meyers Pool is actually owned by the City of Arvada, so it is their asset to plan for and replace. Apex PRD simply operates the pool under an agreement with the City. However, because it is such an important community asset, Apex PRD, the City of Arvada, and Jeffco Public Schools (the school district is a stakeholder, as many of its high school swim teams use the pool for practice and competition) are already in conversations about how a three-way partnership could get the pool replaced.
A shared coordinating committee made up of representatives from the City of Arvada and Apex PRD meets quarterly to brainstorm ideas about how to meet this funding need, and all parties are trying to find a creative, proactive path to replacement.
Public Input Meetings
Apex Park and Recreation District hosted a series of public meetings to gather public input on elements of the District’s community recreation master plan. Also on the table for discussion was the strategy to finance these projects by extending the District’s current $25 million revenue bond, approved by voters in 1998 to finance the Apex Center and several other projects. The bond will expire in 2017. If voters chose to extend it, the action would not incur any new taxes. The meetings were held on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at the Apex Center, 6:30 pm and Thursday, March 26, 2015 at the Community Recreation Center, 6:30 pm. The meeting scheduled for Thursday, February 26 at the Apex Field House was cancelled due to the weather.
The meetings opened with a synopsis of the District’s master plan and the community’s role in supporting recreation from Mr. Miles and District staff. The attendees then broke into groups of 8-10 people and discussed the issues important to them. After the breakout sessions, the whole group reconvened and listened to the results, presented by a spokesperson from each table.
The January 29 meeting at the Apex Center in the Randall Room hosted about 50 people. At the March 26 meeting, a large, energetic group of around 130 people represented many interests and all areas of Arvada.
The results of the public input meetings were used to prioritize the projects on the master plan and affirm the direction of the District.
2016 Election Projects
At the September 3, 2015 Board of Directors meeting, Mr. Miles presented the culmination of the Vision 2020 Master Plan and the public input meetings. After reviewing the information from Mr. Miles, the Board of Directors proposed the 2016 election projects include Secrest Center, Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool, Arvada Tennis Center, Lutz Sports Complex, Apex Center renovations/additions, and Long Lake Ranch Regional Park.
- The Secrest Center project would include the construction of a replacement recreation center with a small weight room, community/aerobics area, teen center, small gym, locker rooms, and therapy pool. The existing outdoor pool and inline hockey rink would remain.
- The Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool would include a neighborhood recreation center with small weight room and community/aerobics area, and a six lane outdoor pool.
- The Arvada Tennis Center project would include four indoor courts in a building similar to the Apex Field House, eight renovated outdoor courts with new fencing, new lighting and a larger parking lot.
- Lutz Sports Complex project would be a renovation of the west fields into a new four field pod with a restroom/concession building between the two pods.
- The Apex Center renovation and addition would include the renovation of the indoor playground and indoor aquatics area, and the construction of an outdoor splash pad.
- The Long Lake Ranch project would add two baseball fields to complete a five field pod, two synthetic turf fields, a restroom/concession building and improved parking lot with lights.
The total project cost is approximately $28.25 million. If voters approve the extension of the existing bond, the District would receive $25 million and the City has allocated $3.1 million to put towards the Fitzmorris Park Center/Pool. The remainder would come from the District’s general fund.
At the September 17, 2015 Board of Directors meeting, the board considered the final approval of the proposed election projects that have been presented to the public. Mr. Miles added that City staff and Apex Park and Recreation District representatives had met with school district staff and they were 100% in support of the Fitzmorris project, but it still had to be presented to the JeffCo School Board. The City also needed to review the project with surrounding neighbors. Mr. Miles stated that project revisions could be made later on if the board needed to address this, depending on the status of the Fitzmorris project with the school district and neighbors.
The Fitzmorris Project Input
Apex Park and Recreation District and The City of Arvada hosted a public input meeting on Tuesday, January 26, 6:30 pm-8 pm in the Fitzmorris Elementary School Gym, 6250 Independence St., Arvada, CO 80004, to continue the conversation about the potential of a new neighborhood recreation center and pool at Fitzmorris Park. The event was attended by about 140 people concerned about the impact on their neighborhood. Apex PRD and the City gave short presentations followed by a ‘sticker exercise’ and an informal Q&A. The participant also had the opportunity to fill out a short survey.