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Group exploring area-wide rec facility

By Corene Brisendine

A “grass-roots” committee has come together to explore the desire and need for a regional multi-purpose recreational facility. On Thursday, committee members began sending out emails via various local agencies— in Geary, Riley and Pottawatomie counties—to help them gauge public opinion and interest.

Curt Loupe, director of Manhattan Parks and Recreation, said the committee involves people from Manhattan, Wamego and Junction City, and is chaired by Gail Urban, a local businesswoman. It sought help from local school districts, chambers of commerce and local parks and recreations departments. Loupe said his staff sent out the email, which includes a link to the survey, on Thursday to the people on the Rec. Track email list.

Loupe said the committee has been working on the facility idea for the past six months. He said its interest is in a private or public regional multipurpose recreation facility filling needs that are not already being met through other venues.

The survey is designed to determine the needs of the communities and how the community members would be willing to pay for it. The center would house indoor and/or outdoor activities, depending on the wants and needs of the communities.

The survey asks questions about what kind of indoor and outdoor activities respondents participate in, or would participate in at a facility; what they would be willing to pay to participate in those activities on a daily, monthly and yearly basis; and how the facility’s construction and maintenance should be paid for—private, public or both. Finally, it asks for the age, composition and income of the family completing the survey, and there is room to make additional comments.

Loupe said there is no location designated at this point, nor has it been determined exactly what the facility might include. The committee hopes to receive as much feedback from the communities as possible before Dec. 28.









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