Wellness and Recreation Center Frequently Asked Questions
What is the location of the proposed building?
The facility will be constructed on the east side of Lafayette between Jefferson City High School and Lincoln University’s Dwight T. Reed Stadium and will occupy a portion on the current Lincoln softball field which will be relocated.
What is the general description of the building?
The building is approximately 79,999 square feet under roof on three levels. The main level consisting of approximately 45,333 square feet will house four full size basketball courts, offices, lobby, restrooms, front desk, concession area, storage, and meeting rooms. The upper level of the building is approximately 21,933 square feet and will contain a fitness center, offices, meeting/ classrooms, restrooms and the elevated walking track. A basement level of approximately 12,733 square feet will house Lincoln University Athletic Department offices, locker rooms, and restrooms. The lower level will be finished at the expense of Lincoln University in addition to their contribution toward the Wellness Center facility.
Why is the facility named the "Wellness Center"?
The facility represents the interests of both Lincoln University and Parks and Recreation. Some of Lincoln's funding sources include grants for the physical wellness/fitness component of the facility including the fitness center and upper level classroom space. Jefferson City Parks and Recreation funding sources are related to recreation. The facility will be dully represented as the University Wellness and Parks Multipurpose Recreation Center. Both parties are seeking naming rights contributions to the facility as well as for courts and other amenities related to the building.
I heard the building size has been reduced. Does that mean less court space?
No. The building was originally anticipated at being approximately 80,000 square feet but as the partners met to discuss programs and services desired within the building, the design concept increased to approximately 91,000 square feet. Subsequent cost estimates for the project revealed that identified funding was inadequate to construct a larger facility and design continued focusing on the original concept size. The building is designed for future expansion as utilization and community needs grow.
I've heard that students will have the gyms reserved 90% of the time. When will the community be able to use the courts? How many courts will be available?
The gymnasium portion of the building is designed to accommodate 6 junior high school size basketball courts or four high school size basketball courts or 6 volleyball courts. This enables a 30% increase in programmable space while accommodating the needs for various sports at different levels of skill and competition. Under the cooperative agreement Lincoln University will receive use of the equivalent of one court at all times. Depending on the schedule of programs there will be times when students may not have access to any courts and at other times access to more than one court will be available. Many existing Parks and Recreation programs will be relocated to the building and there will be opportunities to develop new programs serving the general public as well as Lincoln University students.
What is the anticipated opening date for the facility?
Architects anticipate that bids will be received during the first of November 2015 with construction beginning prior to the end of the year. The construction process is anticipated to take nearly one year with the goal of opening the facility to public use in early 2017.
I understand there is some debate going on about who should manage the facility: Parks & Recreation or Lincoln. How will the facility be staffed?
The Memorandum of Agreement calls for the facility to be cooperatively managed. The upper floor which contains the fitness center, track and class rooms will be primarily scheduled and staffed by Lincoln University. Parks and Recreation plans to relocate its offices from the City Annex to the facility and will be primarily responsible for scheduling and staffing the main floor of the building which includes game courts, lobby, concession stand and meeting rooms. Parks and Recreation staff will work to enhance student programming opportunities.
Lincoln University Athletic Department staff housed in the lower level of the building will not be included in the shared operating costs of the facility.
What are the hours of operation for the facility?
Initially hours of operation will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday thru Thursday; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday; and Noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday. These hours will be subject to adjustment to maximize cost efficiencies based on participant interests and levels of use.
Will the facility be open every day?
The facility will be open daily except for a very limited holiday/closure schedule. All or parts of the facility may be temporarily closed for occasional Lincoln University and/or community events which require use of the entire facility. The MOU provides that those events will be published six months in advance to allow users to adjust their schedules accordingly.
I'm hearing a lot of concern that the public is paying for the building but will not be able to use the fitness center portion of the facility.
Some historical perspective is necessary to answer this. Prior to formation of the Parks and Recreation/Lincoln University partnership each partner was pursuing their own building project. Parks and Recreation was planning to build a gymnasium fieldhouse facility with four basketball courts and an elevated walking track. Due to funding limitations and to avoid competition with numerous other fitness centers located throughout the city, a fitness center was not a part of the Park and Recreation Commission’s building plans.
Lincoln University was planning to construct a single floor gymnasium with a wellness/fitness center to serve the student population. Lincoln received a $4 million grant to aid in the construction of their building with emphasis on student wellness. Student activity fees will pay for all of the cardio and weight equipment within the fitness/wellness center.
In addition to funding source, the size of the fitness/wellness center limits the number of participants who will be able to utilize the facility. As a part of their employee wellness programs, Lincoln University staff and city staff will be encouraged to purchase memberships. Depending on the number of employees who join, if additional capacity remains, it is planned that memberships will be sold to the public at large. Once the facility is open and usage patterns are determined, other options to increase use will be explored by the facility advisory committee.Overall the partnership and combining of resources is enabling the construction of a larger building with more program opportunities for the community than if each partner had continued on separate paths.
What will it cost for persons to use the facility?
Costs for Lincoln University students will be covered by a student activity fee collected as a part of their academic registration process. Fitness facility memberships, gymnasium or meeting room rental, program registrations, and daily drop in fees will apply to others using the facility. Fee levels are still under discussion by the University and Parks and Recreation Commission.
What programs will be conducted in the new facility?
One of the purposes for the building is to enable the growth of Park and Recreation programs which are now conducted primarily in local school and church gymnasiums. Some youth and adult programs which have inadequate time and space in those facilities will be relocated to the new facility. In addition, there will be greatly expanded opportunities for new programs focusing on youth and adult sports as well as Wellness/Fitness programs for which there are no current facilities available.
Will the facility be able to accommodate youth sports tournaments?
The dual four court/six court design will offer maximum flexibility and enable both basketball and volleyball tournaments at various skill levels to utilize the facility along with other types of sporting events. Parks and Recreation in cooperation with Lincoln University and the Convention and Visitors Bureau will also market the facility for rental to sports organizations and entrepreneurs who operate such events. Push back bleacher seating will accommodate approximately 1,200 spectators.
Will anyone be able to suggest uses for the facility?
Yes. The number of game courts and hours within the operating schedule will offer many new opportunities for programs and activities both for Lincoln University students and the public. In addition to making suggestions directly to either the University or Parks and Recreation, an advisory committee created under the Memorandum of Understanding will be responsible for gathering input and making recommendations for new programs once the facility is open.
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Will I ever be able to just drop in to shoot baskets?
It is an operational goal to have at least one of the six courts open for drop in use the majority of the time. Public drop in times will be scheduled as part of the overall program and use plan.
Drop-in/open gym time will become a regular program offering within the facility and available times may vary depending upon overall use needs within the building.
A schedule of available drop in times will be posted at the facility and online for the convenience of users. In addition, Lincoln intramural programs will be expanded and incorporated into Parks and Recreation programs. Just like the swimming pools and ice arena there will be public sessions on a regular basis with a daily drop in admission fee. Discount punch cards will also be sold.
Where can I obtain additional information about the project?
You may call the Department of Parks and Recreation at (573) 634-6482 or email us.