Updated versions of plans are available for inspection at the Bubble and Bountiful City Hall. The new facility will have two pools inside: one is a competitive pool and the other is recreational, which will feature warmer water. There will be a splash pad and water slide outside.
Olympic hopefuls and hockey players alike will have a new ice skating rink. Swim teams from three high schools will share the pools on a rotating schedule with families, seniors and water aerobics instructors. Junior Jazz will have three new indoor basketball courts. Senior citizens will have a place to walk, swim, and work out.
The process followed for approval of the center was a good one. First of all, the organizers of the recreation district met with all of the organizations that use the existing facility to solicit input and suggestions.
They involved as many people as possible in formulating the original plans. They met with city councils from all five cities. They took the matter to a vote. The voters approved the $18 million bond.
The process was good, but not perfect. Critics of the center have had plenty to talk about: the size and cost of the facility, the timing of the Aug. 3, 2004, bond election, the slim margin of passage by 249 votes, the written information provided to voters stated that the school district had already committed millions of dollars before any formal agreement had been finalized, and the flyers distributed at the Handcart Days Parade in violation of the parade rules and policy.
One of my original concerns was any potential conflict between the new facility and local businesses such as private health clubs. This concern, however, was alleviated.
The original conceptual drawings of the new facility's fitness center were downsized to assuage the concerns of local business owners.
Moreover, many of the people who use the existing exercise room at the Bubble are too young to join the local health clubs.
It is time for the community to rally around this project. The continuing rhetoric of the critics is beginning to sound a lot like sour grapes.
Mayor Joe Johnson summed it up earlier this year when he challenged the center's critics to begin making a positive contribution to the community.
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