TRUCKEE, Calif. - Residents within the Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District are getting a new recreation building featuring an eight-lane competition pool and a warm water pool with a lazy river for therapy purposes and play features for children.The TDRPD board of directors voted 3-2 Thursday night to use approximately $7 million in excess funds from the 2009 construction of the Community Recreation Center on an aquatics center. With the announcement, a majority of audience members burst into claps and "whoo-hoos," hugging each other and shaking hands."If the building (the current pool) fails, we fail in recreation and our mission," said board member Kevin Murphy, explaining his decision to vote in favor. "We can't fail. We can't take away recreation within our community. It's our job. We have to do recreation first."Board member Peter Werbel and board chair Kristin York also voted in favor, with director Janet Brady and vice chair Erin Casey voting against. Brady and Casey preferred to delay making a decision on which facility - a performing arts center or an aquatic center - to choose."These are projects that are going to affect this community for decades. Decades," Casey said. "So is it impossible to imagine waiting another month, two months, three months to make sure? ... I don't think so."In the November election, an $8.52 million bond measure that would have financed the construction of both an aquatic center and performing arts center did not receive the two-thirds majority it needed from TDRPD voters to pass. Since each facility is estimated to cost slightly more than $7 million, the TDRPD board had the option to build one facility, take a Band-aid approach to existing swimming and/or performance facilities or not build either facility.In related action Thursday night, the board unanimously approved allocating $200,000 from the district's current budget to a future performing arts project, the details of which have yet to be determined."I think it's important to make a strong statement to the arts community that we are supportive, and this is just one way in which we could do that," Casey said.The aquatic center would be built next to the Community Recreation Center at the Pioneer Center roundabout. There is no timeline for when it will be operational.
The board also voted Thursday night to rescind its approval last month allowing Nevada-City based Divine Spark use of Truckee's Community Arts Center on Church Street for six months to feed homeless and in-need individuals once a week.The largest concern board members said they had was regarding location. The Community Arts Center is home to Twin Ridges Home Study Charter School and Arts For the Schools, and board members said they didn't like the idea of children and Divine Spark's clientele possibly intermingling.- Look for extended coverage of the decisions next week at www.sierrasun.com.