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Community and Aqua Center
Broadwater County Development Corporation (BCDC)
CARB (Community Advisory and Research Building) Committee
After completing Phase ll of our Community Review, five committees were formed to research the top priorities decided by the people attending the last Community Review meetings in March of 2023. The five committees are Housing, Child Care, Aging Gracefully, Multi-Use Community Center, Trails, and Broadband. Most of the committees started meeting in April and are making progress. These committees are all under the auspices of BCDC as it was the host and lead organization for the Community Review. BCDC is also a 501 c3 nonprofit organization. These committees, and their research, benefit all of Broadwater County and beyond.
The CARB committee has been meeting since April. Various issues, options, and ideas have been discussed. The following is an outline of our initial thoughts and ideas when we started for where we might be heading with this project.
Community Facilities Master Plan
- What is our Vision?
- 1 year
- 2 years
- 5 years
- 10 years
- 15 years
- 20 years
- Establishing a need for the community building;
- Who will use it?
- County Residents Only
- Age Groups – any restrictions
- Open to all
- Courts: Pickle Ball, Basketball, Volleyball
- Exercise room
- Community Space
- Commercial Kitchen
- Technology Usage
- Theater: Movie, Plays
- Child Care
- Adult education
- Do we want redundant spaces – school, Lodge, exercise business -Vision?
- Game room
- After school
- Exceptional Learning
- Indoor Pools
- Swimming: Competition, Smaller, Larger
- Emergency Shelter
- Who will use it?
Once Needs are Decided
- One Story
- Two Story
- Multiple buildings or one building
- Recruiting the right architects, engineers
- Talk with other new Community Facilities in Montana; ex. Poplar – $23 Million
- Room for expansion
- Neighboring concerns
- Water Source, Needs
- Internet Capabilities
- Soil Type
- Power grid
- Emergency power
- Alternative energy
- Heating, Cooling
- Passive Solar
- Heat Pump
- City – County
- 501 (c) (3) Nonprofit, new or existing
- Private – Preferred?
- Land Trust
- Funding Committee
- Grant writers
- Endowments, Trusts
- Wealthier past citizens or alumni
- Donation of portion on property sales
- Fund raisers
- Who is responsible?
- Board of Directors
- Advisory Board
- Other Costs or considerations
Issues and Ideas
Location has still not been determined although we have researched a few options. All these locations are within two miles of Townsend.
The Aquatics facility has been a top priority and has been researched the most so far, but it’s not the only priority consideration. A competition pool incorporated in with a lap pool, therapy pool, lazy river, and waterpark ideas are being considered. We are also looking at ways to mitigate the chlorine treatments associated with public pools and all agreed to make this experience as heathy as possible. New healthy water treatments such as Ozone and UV to replace chlorine are being researched.
Fitness is an integral part of the mix and will be a large part of this facility. A gym for basketball, volleyball, pickleball, exercise spaces for wellness including weights, aerobics, yoga, overhead track, etc. are all being factored in.
Childcare is an ongoing issue in the area and currently we are in what they call a childcare desert. With only about a fifth of the daycare needs met, we are looking at providing a full-service daycare. There would also be a child drop off service for parents while they are using the facility.
A Commercial Kitchen would be used for the childcare space, concessions, lounge, possible culinary training, dinner meetings and banquet type functions.
Meeting and Office spaces will be needed for our growing nonprofit groups as meeting space continues to shrink. We will be thinking of ways to utilize these spaces for multiple uses as our needs grow. Office spaces might offer advantages for various reasons. The lease of these spaces would also contribute towards the overhead costs of the facility. At the Woodbine CREW center, the senior citizens have their coffee klatch there every day. Just a warm, friendly place to gather.
Emergency Shelter and Services are also being considered as there is always the possibility of some sort of catastrophe or need. We will be researching the best technology to provide the most secure type of survival services.
What Type of Structure is best suited and least expensive for our center? Sprung Structures is a company who manufactures a high-tech tensioned fabric placed over aluminum truss spans. This is a very airtight building that has a good insulation package. These structures are well suited for our climate as they withstand wind and cold. They are used in many different applications and climates such as recreational venues that include water sports, gymnasiums, and hockey arenas. The Woodbine CREW Center in Woodbine, Iowa uses this structure and their people are very happy with it. Other uses include military, manufacturing, shelters, offices, and many others. These buildings go up fast, many times in four months, not including groundwork, thus saving money.
Funding – I know what you’re thinking, what’s this all going to cost? We are not at that stage yet, but it’s guaranteed to be several million dollars. We have just started a funding campaign to get some seed money. BCDC has received over $36,000 from the now dissolved TRAC organization earmarked for recreation. We are hoping to leverage this money and use it for matching funds for grants. We will be looking for all types of funding to get there.
After construction there will be overhead and maintenance costs which must be addressed. Membership and usage fees will be utilized along with rental from office space, banquets, meetings, childcare, etc. All these possible revenue streams will be researched to alleviate these anticipated expenses.
Support – We need the support of all of you in this process as this project is for you! There is a community center that is going in or has been finished in Poplar. It was started by the kids as they were tired of losing too many family, friends and citizens to poor health. This was a way to keep them around longer! And remember, winter is always coming! Wouldn’t it be great to soak in a nice warm pool when it’s cold outside or be able to take your walk without having to think you could freeze before you get back home?
You can start by filling out this survey – https://forms.gle/g7Y1vJ13V8YsK5HLA