FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 8, 2012
Contact: David L. Corliss, city manager, (785) 832-3400 OR Erin Zimney, Assists Foundation, (785) 218-2310
The following is a statement from the City of Lawrence concerning recreation center discussions:
The Lawrence City Commission has recently been presented with a wonderful opportunity to significantly advance our community, particularly in the area of recreation facilities for our citizens, sports event hosting, and economic development. This proposal envisions a public-private partnership that, if approved, would create facilities far beyond the city’s ability by itself.
The public-private partnership would involve the possible donation of real estate at the northwest corner of West 6th Street (Highway 40) and K-10 Highway. The proposal would make the site a regional recreation center - established through a public-private partnership - providing opportunities for multiple sports and activities. The public-private partnership includes Bill and Cindy Self’s Assists Foundation. The Assists Foundation provided the following quote from Bill Self:
“Cindy and I founded Assists out of the desire to help our community meet a need for recreational and wellness space. It has been our goal to be a part of a project that benefits our community and that is accessible and beneficial to everybody, especially our youth. This particular project has the potential to be even more impactful than anything we’ve been working towards to date.
Through the generosity of partners, we believe we’ve been given an avenue to help make Lawrence not only a great place to live for our citizens but also a destination. In terms of recreational space, public accessibility and economic impact for our community, this project is very, very exciting and far exceeds our original goals.”
As proposed, the facility would include multiple basketball courts which could be converted into half courts or used for volleyball providing the opportunity to host large tournaments and allow open-play for community members, a large arena, indoor elevated track, indoor turf area, health and wellness center, fitness facility and amenities including concessions, trails and walking areas, and parking.
The University of Kansas and Kansas Athletics are currently exploring the opportunity to also locate certain KU facilities at this site as well. The city views the possible location of KU facilities and events at this location as an exciting opportunity and greatly welcomes their participation.
This is a truly exciting opportunity for the Lawrence community. If the proposed facility proceeds, Lawrence could be the host of national and regional sports tournaments and events for all ages and abilities. Such events would provide outstanding economic benefits to Lawrence. We would have a first-class recreation and event facility providing substantially more opportunities than our current facilities allow.
In the coming weeks and months, the city will consider several matters related to the proposed project, including agreements governing the design and city financial participation in the facility, management of the facility, donation of the property, city infrastructure installation and receiving necessary land use approvals for the project.
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