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Wednesday, 07 October 2015
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Local Citizens Discuss Possible Ideas for New Rec Center

Lisa Hatcher and Elizabeth Irby moderate Thursday night's meeting at Spencer Browne's Coffee House.

A group of close to 30 people gathered at Spencer Browne's Coffee House on Thursday night to brainstorm ideas of how to potentially get a new community recreation center built in Liberal.

The group was headed up by Elizabeth Irby, Lisa Hatcher, Tano Tovilla, Paty Tovilla, Susan Lukwago, Crystal Clemens, and Tyler Prater. Several of the group's leaders were graduates of the 2007 LEAD class.

Irby and Hatcher moderated the meeting which included a brief history of several failed attempts in the past at getting a new rec center.

The Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce Rozelle Webb said the difference of those failed attempts and now is she feels that Liberal's City Manager (Mark Hall) and this current city commission is in favor of a new rec center.

The people in attendance came up with a long list of things they'd like to see considered for a new rec center. The list included the following:

Full Size Indoor Pool

Indoor Basketball Courts

Indoor Soccer

Walking Track


Meeting Rooms

Multi-purpose Sr. Center/Baker Arts

Therapy Pool

Area for Child Care

Rock Wall for Climbing

Weights and Exercise Equipment

Basement for an Emergency Shelter

Video Game Room

Go-Kart Track

This was just a starting point to find out what the community would want in a new rec center. The Director of Parks and Recreation Gary Scott was also in attendance.

What could be crucial to the possibility of a new rec center will be the election to renew the city's one cent sales tax this November. This is likely where a good portion of the funding for a new center would come from.

Irby and Hatcher urged the people in attendance to start encouraging people to vote for the one cent sales tax. Webb also added that it won't be a tax increase since the community has already been paying it for the last ten years.

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