Parks and Recreation Consultants Report Work Session



Discuss proposed strategy for meeting indoor recreation needs contained in consultants phase II report.



Tucker, White, Mullaney





December 1, 2004


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Over the past two years the Parks and Recreation Department has been working with Ballard King and Associates, a recreation facility planning and operations consulting firm, on a two phase Community Recreation Facilities Needs Assessment Study.  Phase I of the study focused on determining the overall needs of the citizens of Albemarle County regarding parks and recreation services.  A key component of the Phase I study was a random citizen survey.  The Phase I report was presented to the Board at the February 4, 2004 meeting.  The Phase II study focused on developing an implementation strategy for meeting the indoor recreation needs identified in Phase I.  The Phase II report was presented to the Board on October 3, 2004.  The Board requested a follow up work session to discuss the Phase II report in more detail. 



Goal 3.3:  Develop and implement policies that address the County’s growth and urbanization while continuing to enhance the factors that contribute to the quality of life in the County.

Goal 4.2: Fund County services in a fair, efficient manner and improve needed public facilities and infrastructure.



At the October Board meeting the consultant presented an implementation strategy for meeting indoor recreation needs that included the development of up to three facilities in the County over the next 12 years.  For each facility the County would seek partnership options for construction and operation of these facilities.  Recognizing that the Piedmont Family YMCA has for sometime been interested in developing a facility and considering the YMCA program philosophy of being open to all regardless of ability to pay, the YMCA was suggested as the most likely partner for the initial facility.  It should be noted that several Board members during the discussion of the Phase I report in February expressed support of a successful YMCA venture and did not want to see the County pursue a path which would unintentionally endanger that effort. 


After several discussions with YMCA representatives and County staff the consultant developed a recommendation for an initial 86,000 square foot facility with the construction cost shared between the County and the YMCA.  The total cost of the facility is estimated at $19,900,000.  The facility would be contract operated by the YMCA with an annual subsidy from the County to cover operating expense deficits resulting from the inclusion of facilities which meet identified County needs but not typically included in a YMCA.  This operating deficit is estimated at $177,000 annually.  During the Phase II discussion the Board requested staff to provide costs associated with adding an indoor pool alone to one of the existing high schools.  The consultant has responded that a 25 meter X 25 yard competitive pool could be added to an existing high school for approximately $5,200,000.  This estimate assumes using existing school parking to serve the new facility.  The operating costs for a competitive pool are estimated at $550,000 with 58% of those costs recovered in revenues resulting in an annual operating deficit of $232,000.


Attached to this executive summary is the data from the Phase I survey which is pertinent to the discussion of indoor recreation needs.   


Work Session Agenda:

  1. Review of Phase I Citizen Survey
  2. Discussion of Key Issues.


Key Issue # 1 – Phase II Recommended Strategy


The recommended strategy for meeting indoor recreation needs includes significant capital ($8.5 million) and annual operating ($175,000) funding within the next 5 years.  Given the increasing demands for all County services, is the indoor recreation need a priority for this level of funding within this time frame?


Key Issue # 2 – Alternatives to the Recommended Strategy


A.      Provide land to the YMCA.

B.      Develop a competitive pool at an existing high school.

C.      Other partnership options.




Staff recommends that the Board of Supervisors discuss the key issues providing direction to staff on proceeding towards the  recommended strategy or pursuing other potential alternatives to meeting indoor recreation needs.



A – Consultant Report

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