Mountain Recreation delves into a survey for Eagle Pool and Ice Rink wishlist
Long-term plan is to reimagine the pool and ice rink facility as a year-round community center
EAGLE — There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to planning one of Eagle’s primary recreation hubs.
There are also a lot of opportunities.
That’s the challenge ahead as Mountain Recreation launches its latest user survey effort. Just as it did with users at the Gypsum Recreation Center and the Edwards Field House, Mountain Rec wants to know what users want to see at the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink.
“We are trying to figure out what the facility needs are across the district,” said Mountain Recreation Director Janet Bartnik. “We want to find out what the community wants and what is the right size for our amenities.”
But in the case of the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink site, a Mountain Rec facility isn’t the only consideration. The town of Eagle has open space land north and south of the site and a future town recreation/school site is planned to the east with the development of the Haymeadow project.
Historic partnerships, future options
At the pool and ice rink site, Mountain Rec operates the outdoor pool and indoor rink. The facility was built in partnership with the town of Eagle and opened in 2003. The outdoor area around the pool and ice rink includes several recreation facilities that have been constructed by the town over the past several years, including the Haymaker mountain bike trail, a bike pump track and outdoor tennis courts.
The first part of the new survey includes demographic questions and queries about how often respondents use these existing facilities.
“The next couple of questions are the biggies,” Bartnik said. These questions ask survey respondents to indicate preferences for various suggested improvements for the Eagle site. That list includes:
- Fitness center
- Group exercise studio
- Locker room improvements
- Dedicated locker rooms
- An additional sheet of ice
- A community room/activity space
- Meeting rooms
- Drop-in childcare space
- Outdoor pool improvements
- Indoor leisure pool
- Indoor/outdoor pool space
“And then we have a space for ‘other’ because we know we don’t think of everything,” Bartnik said.
The tricky part of the planning effort is the town recreation/school site located on the eastern boundary of the pool and ice site. While the site is part of the Haymeadow project plan, the school district just completed numerous school construction projects. While Eagle County Schools routinely studies local population statistics with an eye toward future needs, it hasn’t delved into the details of what will be built at the Eagle Haymeadow site. Preliminary plans envision a K-8 facility there.
“We want to make sure we all — Mountain Recreation, the town and the school district — are headed down a common path,” Bartnik said. “We want to make sure we are smart about public investments.”
The long-term plan, she noted, is to reimagine the pool and ice rink facility as a year-round community center rather than the site of two, seasonal uses.
Over at the fairgrounds
As Mountain Rec launches its survey effort for the Eagle Pool and Ice Rink, the district is also honing in on an improvements plan at the multi-use recreation fields located west of the Eagle County Fairgrounds.
After user surveys revealed the top priorities at the site are new restrooms and additional shade, Bartnik said Mountain Rec hired a consultant to plan the new facilities. Because of the costs associated, and the fact that Mountain Rec wants to fund the project out of its regular budget, the district board asked the consultants to look at ways to expand the shade options at the concessions/restroom building. According to Bartnik, that will bring in more shade during the first phase of construction. A second construction phase will include additional shade structures and other improvements.
Ultimately, she noted the various surveys focused on facilities in Gypsum, Edwards and Eagle will help Mountain Rec formulate a comprehensive, districtwide improvements plan. Once the district knows what its users want, Mountain Rec can set about finding ways to pay for the wishlist. Bartnik said the options include partnerships, grants and a future bond issue election.
“First we need to determine the need. Then we will look, long-term, at how to fund it,” she concluded.
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