Deciding what the Edwards Field House can become |

Deciding what the Edwards Field House can become

Mountain Recreation launches survey as part of a re-imagining process for the facility

Mountain Recreation has launched a survey for Edwards Field House users to weigh in on future uses for the facility.
Daily file photo

Eagle Fairgrounds fields update

Mountain Recreation recently completed its outreach effort regarding the Eagle Fairgrounds Sports Complex and three concepts have been developed to address what people said.

The top priority for the site is new restroom facilities.

"We know the restrooms there don't work properly. We heard that loud and clear," said Bartnik. "We also hear loud and clear that people want the playground there."

Other priorities at the site include new shade structures, batting cages and team hangout areas.

Later this month the Mountain Rec Board of Directors is scheduled to debate the options and make a decision about the project. Bartnik said construction will begin in 2020, contingent on board approval and funding.

EDWARDS — How’s this for an idea of how to re-imagine a public space — ask the people who use it what they want.

That’s what Mountain Recreation has done, first at the Gypsum Recreation Center and then at the Eagle Fairgrounds ballfields complex. Now the rec district’s attention is focused on the Edwards Field House.

Mountain Recrecation Executive Director Janet Bartnik noted the Edwards facility was built in 2009. The facility features an indoor turf field, a gymnastics center, a climbing wall and tower, trampolines and a sport court. The idea, Bartnik said, was to differentiate the offerings in Edwards from the indoor pool, hard court and fitness offerings at the Gypsum Recreation Center and the indoor ice rink and outdoor pool in Eagle.

“We wanted to follow the same model we used in Gypsum and ask the community members what they thought,” Bartnik said. “That was such a successful process because people told us what they wanted. We heard they wanted fitness classes included in memberships and upgraded fitness equipment.”

Fitness and more

Even as Mountain Recreation launches its outreach program, the district has expanded what’s available at the Edwards Field House. Earlier this year the district began fitness classes at the location and participation has been steadily growing.

Through the month of May, Mountain Recreation will conduct a survey on its website to find out what users want at the Edwards Field House. The options include:

  • A hard-court surface instead of the sport-court option
  • Locker rooms — currently the field house has restrooms but no showers or lockers
  • A fitness space with cardio equipment, weights and class space
  • An indoor walking track

Additionally, Bartnik noted that Mountain Recreation gives survey respondents the opportunity to suggest other options.

For its part, Mountain Recreation is interested in having people change their minds about what the field house is.

“We always want to make our recreation centers function as community centers,” said Bartnick. That means incorporating social spaces and providing options where people can gather, both formally and informally.

As part of the outreach, Mountain Recreation has already conducted some focus group sessions with the Edwards Metro District and Berry Creek Metro District boards. Additionally, Mountain Recreation has reached out to Vail Health and Colorado Mountain College to gather input.

Kids sports and more

For decades, the biggest focus for Mountain Recreation (formerly known as Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District) has been youth sports.

“We still need to focus on youth. That won’t go away. But we need to broaden our offerings,” Bartnik said. The re-imagination of the various Mountain Recreation facilities is part of that effort.

“The idea will be to bring together all the ideas from across the district,” Bartnik concluded.

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