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Park district studies facility for youthful adventure


Rock-climbing wall, indoor skate park, laser tag could be offered by 2014

Note: This story was amended to clarify that the Adventure Recreation Center will be paid for exclusively with borrowed funds and to reflect the correct amount of interest payments THPRD is projected to make over 10 years.

Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District officials envision a proposed Adventure Recreation Center — featuring amenities such as a rock-climbing wall an indoor skateboard park — as enture-oriented teens and young adults.

The proposed 18,000-square-foot center — which could open by spring 2014 — would be divided into two distinct sections, one featuring a rock-climbing wall and bouldering course, a flexible sport court flooring to accommodate laser tag, batting cages and adult big wheels. The second, 6,000-square-foot section would be configured for an indoor skate park, according to the district’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14.

Catering to the 15- to 30-year-olds in the district, the facility would likely involve the district leasing and remodeling an existing, centrally located structure.

Park district officials are studying the proposed center’s feasibility based on market research and factors such as demand for the planned services and activities, analysis of existing service providers, site locations and the ability to accommodate other amenities.

Considered an “enterprise operation” in the district’s proposed budget, financing would derive from borrowed money rather than the $100 million bond measure voters passed in 2008 or other taxpayer sources. The budget proposal calls for the district borrowing $382,474 to lease, renovate and equip an appropriate facility, with $104,334 going to interest payments over 10 years.

“This is another example of our proactive efforts to serve all aspects of our community in creative yet fiscally responsible ways,” said Keith Hobson, the district’s director of business and facilities. “We are excited to do more research on this proposal and see where it leads.”

Hobson presented an outline of the project to the district’s Budget Committee during a Monday evening work session.

The Adventure Recreation Center would help fulfill a goal of the district’s comprehensive plan, which calls for quality sports and recreation facilities and programs for district residents and “workers of all ages, cultural backgrounds, abilities and income levels,” according to the plan’s Goal No. 2.

To monitor work toward this goal, district officials track registration numbers for classes and activities, including participants’ demographic information.

“Based on this, we asked an employee leadership team to identify ways to increase participation in the 15- to 30-year-old demographic, which we believe is currently underserved by district programs,” Hobson said.

No specific locations for the center, which the proposed budget indicates could generate $661,616 in the upcoming fiscal year, have been identified.

“Our market research and analysis of existing providers will help narrow down our location,” Hobson said.