By Mark Cowling for Florence Reminder & Blade Tribune
With construction just beginning on a new library and aquatic complex, and the possibility of seeing the town budget slashed next year, the Town Council voted to shelve plans for a new fitness and recreation center.
Town staff was planning for a 30KSF building with a gymnasium, three-lane indoor track, cardio and strength-training areas, aerobics and dance room, climbing wall, locker rooms, social/gaming room, kids club (child watch) area, receptionist area and offices at a total cost of $6.75M.
The acreage under construction includes a pad across from the library for a future recreation center. On Sept. 15, the council directed town staff to issue a “request for qualifications” from firms to design and build it.
Parks & Recreation Director Bryan Hughes reported to the council Monday that the town received 12 statements of qualifications and selected five as the most qualified. But he added town staff recommends that the project not proceed at this time.
Mayor Tom Rankin said he agreed it should be suspended indefinitely and considered at a later date.
Council member John Anderson made the motion to suspend the project, council member Rebecca Guilin seconded, the council unanimously approved with a vote of 6-0. Vice Mayor Tara Walter was absent.
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