As part of the city’s GO North Olmsted 2015 Master Plan process, we asked residents to voice their opinions about where we are today, where we want to go and how we can get there. You identified 54 action items that became the roadmap for future investments in the city, with improvements to the Recreation Center as a top priority. Here’s what you said:
We envision a full service community center with offerings beyond physical recreation to include arts, culture, health and wellness. To achieve this, we need to survey residents to identify programming opportunities, evaluate expansion options and develop partnerships to bring new resources and revenues to the community.
In addition to improvements such as a new walking path around the park, expand programming to appeal to folks of all ages, including youth, families and seniors.
Open up the outdoor sport field facilities for local recreation teams, school teams, tournaments and teams from neighboring communities.
In early 2016, Parks and Recreation staff completed a community interest survey designed to better understand the current user experience, preferences for new types of recreational programs and priorities for facility improvements.
The administration engaged an architect to work with staff to develop a master plan for the Recreation Center, North Olmsted Community Park and Barton Bradley Park. The team documented existing site conditions at each location and worked together to identify programming priorities. Recognizing the significant community investment that the master planning study proposed, the team was sensitive to ensure the ultimate plan would serve all segments of North Olmsted’s population and would create long lasting community benefits.
See our rack card for a summary of the plan you can download and share.
Watch the video of the North Olmsted Recreation Issue Forum hosted by the League of Women Voters to learn more.
|Mayor Kevin M. Kennedy|
|“If we’re not moving forward, we’re falling behind.”|
Click on the images below to view the proposed site plan for each location.
Some renovations will begin right away with all phases complete by end of 2024. Proposed improvements have been grouped into various packages, some of which can be tackled concurrently. Our goal is to keep current facilities up and running while construction occurs, taking facilities offline for the shortest possible periods of time.
The total cost of construction is estimated at $43,250,000 which is to be funded by a property tax levy of 3.6 mills. This breaks down to an annual tax increase of $126 for a home valued at $100,000 (2017 valuation). The debt duration is 24 years from bond issuance. Within the repayment period, debt service for two other property tax levies will end, reducing residents’ tax burden by 1.1 mills for the Library in 2020 and 0.4 mills for Fire Station #2 in 2024.
The proposed improvements will result in both greater revenue and greater expense to operate. We know that no recreation center, programs or park facilities pay for themselves entirely from user charges. Once all improvements are complete, we project an annual operating shortfall of approximately $1 million. The additional operating expenses are proposed to be covered using existing resources so that there is no additional tax burden on city residents or city workers. We propose to change how existing income taxes are allocated without generating any new tax revenue. A percentage (to be determined) of income taxes collected would be earmarked for parks and recreation. Currently 15% of income tax collected is allocated to the Permanent Improvement – Street and Storm Fund and 15% is allocated to the Solid Waste and Recycling Fund. The remaining 70% goes to the General Fund. Any changes in allocation would require voter approval in 2020 to take effect in budget year 2021.
Funds for recreation facilities and programs come from a variety of sources. The largest is user charges for programs. Also, North Olmsted voters previously approved property tax assessments totaling 1.2 mills for recreation (0.5 mills was established in the city’s charter and 0.7 mills was approved as a permanent levy in 1997). Smaller streams of income for recreation come from advertising, vendor agreements, grants and cell tower revenues.
In the short term, membership rates will remain the same. There will be modest increases as the new facilities come online. Residents will benefit from significantly lower membership rates than non-residents. While some programs or classes operated by Parks and Recreation are open to members and non-members alike, members will receive lower rates for programs involving an extra fee than non-members. Costs for membership and programs will be competitive with other area recreation centers.
Many of the improvements proposed will add amenities to our parks that are free and open to the entire community to use regardless of membership status. Whether you want to exercise on the outdoor walking paths, take your kids to the playground or enjoy a concert in the park, there’s something for everyone. Also, most facilities and programs at the Rec Center will continue be available to non-members on an à la carte basis.
It’s time. The Rec Center opened in 1975. Forty-three years later, we are using the same pool and ice rink, well beyond their expected lifespans. In order to provide high quality amenities to our residents, attract new families to North Olmsted and remain competitive, we need to renovate and rebuild these facilities. This plan reuses and adapts existing assets wherever feasible to stretch every dollar, without compromising on the quality of the amenities.
A ten-lane competition pool with spectator seating will also include a diving area. A separate indoor leisure pool is connected that has family friendly features such as zero depth entry and water slides. Glass doors from the leisure pool can be opened to the outside in summer months. The pools are connected to an outdoor splash ground and playground. The renovation includes pool party spaces, new locker rooms, lifeguard offices and storage. This conceptual plan will be refined as the design process moves forward and new amenities may be included such as a sauna or whirlpool.
We are proposing to add 95,000 square feet to the Recreation Center. This will make the building a total of 187,000 square feet, so we are roughly doubling the size. We will also be renovating about 57,500 square feet of the existing building, so the result will feel like an entirely new facility. Also note that two ballfields, a one-mile walking path, playground and pavilion will be added to the property, as well as additional parking.
Both the outdoor walking paths at the Recreation Center and North Olmsted Park will be lit. They will be constructed out of a clay/limestone mix similar to the Towpath Trail (see photo for an example of this material). The path at the Rec Center will be about one-mile long and the path at North Olmsted Park will be about 1.25 miles long.
While the plan does not include a new senior building, the Recreation Complex renovations have been designed with universal design and accessibility in mind. The Senior Center will continue to be located in the North Olmsted Community Park where improvements will be made to add a walking path, performance stage, outdoor fitness, restrooms and more convenient parking.
Improvements will address unsafe conditions for pedestrians at Barton-Bradley Park by providing a new paved, well-lit parking lot on the north side of Bradley Road with designated crosswalks across the street to the fields. New sidewalks will provide pedestrian access to Barton Road and the Timber Trails subdivision. Enhanced signage and wayfinding will increase visibility and awareness of the park and slow down passing drivers. Plans for North Olmsted Community Park also include more off-street parking and lighting. Accessibility improvements will help to ensure all park visitors have a safe and enjoyable experience. Parking at the Recreation Center will be reoriented to provide better visibility for both pedestrians and drivers navigating the lot.
It’s easy to get involved! Join the Friends of North Olmsted Parks and Recreation to become a supporter of recreation facilities and programming. Contact Recreation Commissioner Betsy Drenski at email@example.com or 440-716-4216 for more information.
The City of North Olmsted is eligible to apply for up to $150,000 toward parks and recreation capital improvements through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources NatureWorks Program. The city proposes to submit an application that would fund the installation of outdoor fitness equipment at North Olmsted Community Park.
This project will support community goals for health and wellness by removing barriers to fitness, both physical and financial. No costly gym memberships are required to benefit from the outdoor fitness park as the facility will be open to all. The proposed equipment is entirely senior-friendly and includes pieces to serve those with disabilities, as well, so that the park can meet the needs of all abilities in the community. The outdoor fitness park would be comprised of eight pieces of fitness equipment permanently installed on a concrete pad. Sidewalk connections will be made to the existing accessible walk. A removable shade structure would be installed to ensure the space is usable and comfortable on warm and sunny days. Benches would be installed on the perimeter to give patrons an area to rest during their workouts.
We welcome public input. Share your comments by May 10, 2019.
|Our logo has been updated! Along with all of the new investments planned, we felt our logo needed to reflect our dedication to providing first-rate facilities and amenities.|