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Tualatin tests waters with phone survey on rec center

TUALATIN - The city of Tualatin officially began testing the waters Wednesday to see if residents really want a recreation center.

The latest draft of the proposed center focuses on a 72,975-square-foot facility attached to an estimated $39.8 million price tag. Coupled with plans for park, trails and sports field improvements, the price could move up to about $52.2 million. Throw in a sports complex, and the cost could jump to an estimated $53.5 million.

So which is the magic number that could win community support for a November bond measure?

That's what city officials want to know.

Representatives with Davis, Hibbits and Midgehall, an opinion research company out of Portland, began making phone calls for a citywide survey on April 30. By Saturday, the group should contact 400 residents in the city.

The survey is designed to give city officials a statistically valid assessment of community support for a recreation bond measure in November.

Residents who are surveyed will be presented with the three options: a community center only, a community center combined with other improvements or a community center coupled with a sports complex.

The Tualatin City Council is looking for some direction from the results of the phone survey. If residents seem to support a potential bond measure, the council could decide to pursue it for the November election.

City officials have been exploring a possible November 2008 bond measure since the council gave the go ahead in December to begin testing the waters of community support for a recreation center.

A recreation/community center received high marks among residents who participated in the Tualatin Tomorrow visioning project.

The city will also use the phone survey to assess community support for a monthly operating park utility fee. The fee would help to maintain operations at a recreation center. According to preliminary costs and draft proposals for the recreation center, if an operating fee were approved, it could add as much as a $15 fee to water bills in the city.

The preliminary concept for a recreation/community center in Tualatin includes a multi-use gymnasium, a multi-use leisure pool, a dance studio, an elevated walk/jog track, teen room and an adult/senior lounge area.