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What type of recreation facility does Lawrence need most?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 12, 2007

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Photo of Amy Knutzen

“A new recreation facility should have a lot of exercise machines like treadmills, elliptical gliders and stair climbers. It should also have some racquetball courts and a nice space for aerobic classes.”

Photo of Jordan Griem

“They need to have more places to play basketball, indoors and outdoors. It’s always too crowded when I go to the community building.”

Photo of Robert Fulbright

“I would like to see a public facility more similar to traditional athletic clubs with higher-quality workout equipment.”

Photo of Danae Olsen

“I think it would be fun to have an ice-skating rink, because now you have to go all the way to Kansas City to ice skate.”


KS 8 years, 7 months ago

Of course, Jonas. This way it would be free. Free is good, don't you know? Curious as to just how often Danae goes to KC to ice skate?

jonas 8 years, 7 months ago

"I would like to see a public facility more similar to traditional athletic clubs with higher-quality workout equipment."

You mean the ones people pay monthly dues for?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

*Lawrence once had a miniature golf site however Douglas County Bank loved that location at 31st&Iowa so bye bye fun time golf. Our family enjoyed that location.

*The one factor I see missing was a mandate to spend millions upon millions for a superdome. The current one cent tax can be used to fund and rehab current facilities. Why doesn't the city take over or become a partner to YSI over and above just mowing? Also where there are large public park areas where a ton of mowing takes place perhaps create another soccer field with any additional parking made up with pervious materials not more asphalt.

*Lawrence once had a roller skating rink about where Kohls is located and our kids enjoyed that rink. Buttttt shop till you drop became the new sport of choice. As children we did a lot of roller skating on neighborhood sidewalks.

*Most of the favorite suggestions in the longer news article are commercial ventures in the KCMO/JOCO and Topeka metro areas. Perhaps Bonnie Augustine Lowe and her bank would be willing to fund an Ice Rink? or make funds available for commercial ventures?

*It does seem to me that both high schools have space for football fields. Bleachers and refeshment stands should be is all that is necessary certainly not a multi-million dollar facility. Purchasing new land not a good idea. Both schools have Basketball facilities so we are all set.

¢ A total of 82 percent of respondents said Lawrence school district facilities should be made available to the public when not being used for school programs. All right! Now we have two public library satellites.

  • In general maintain and improve existing resources.

*Build one or two more neighborhood rec centers complete with weight rooms financed by the current one cent tax designated for this purpose. There are several health clubs within this city even one for women only I believe.

trinity 8 years, 7 months ago

is there never an end to the list of wants??

would people truly utilize new state of the art rec facilities for the long term-or rather, after the initial new-ness wore off would those facilities be more or less abandoned to sit&slowly deteriorate due to lack of giving a s*(@ by people? hmmm...interesting.

i absolutely need more caffiene.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 8 years, 7 months ago

"Free is good, don't you know?"

There is no "free". Everything must be paid for. The difference is, when the government builds and operates a "health club" the inefficiencies of government make it more expensive than if private industry ran it.

We need to think smaller. We are a SMALL community, yet we think we need JoCo amenities. We don't need an ICE RINK paid for by TAXES! This ain't Minnesota!

betti81 8 years, 7 months ago


Sport 2 Sport closed because it sucked. The floors were so bad my high school coach "strongly" discouraged any of us from playing there during the offseason.

It tried to be too many things at once. I stopped going there long before it ended, so someone else might have more insight.

And as to the public having the right to use the school facilities whenever there are no school prepared to pay to resurface the track, hardwood and resod the football field on a regular basis if you do this. most high school and middle school facilities can barely handle the traffic they already get (even with the proper shoes being worn). Adding more use of these will not allow them to last as long as they would otherwise.

As to the OTS question...Lawrence could use an ice rink and maybe an arcade with some go-carts or something fun like that. I agree there are plenty of gyms one can pay to go to in Lawrence.

Ceallach 8 years, 7 months ago

A well maintained network of recreational systems is all Lawrence needs. Same goes for libraries. Upgrade and or expand current facilities. Sheessshhh! Reading the "want" list gave me a flashback to the years my children were junior high and high school age . . . they were very good at changing their wants into needs. I need, I need, I need. The difference is some people never grew out of that stage and have grouped together with other "needers" to form little associations that go to the city (instead of their mother) pleading, we need, we need, we need.

The city partnering with businesses for recreational facilities is as lame a proposition as the state partnering with businesses for gambling facilities.

Godot 8 years, 7 months ago

A privately owned and operated recretational facility

Grundoon Luna 8 years, 7 months ago

Yup, I gotta go with the ice rink. There are 3 city rec centers and I have used them all rather than pay a club membership. Anybody know when the city stopped freezing water in the train park? (What is that guy's name-the city manager they named it after!?!) I think the ground certainly got hard enough to skate for a couple of months there. It sure was frickin' cold.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 7 months ago

A fan in the Energy City votes for rollerball. Here's a faint claim to fame, once upon a time, I took a course in screenwriting that was taught by William Harrison (author of Roller Ball Murder).

BorderRat 8 years, 7 months ago

If you get an Ice Rink, I wanna drive the Zamboni.

Ceallach 8 years, 7 months ago

ergo, the succinctabilityishness of your posts :)

Godot 8 years, 7 months ago

Would LJW please do a story on the financial status of the city Parks & Rec programs?

How much does it cost to run the aquatic centers vs how much the fees generate?

How much does it cost to run the fitness classes vs how much fees are taken in?

And, of course, Eagle Bend, how much does it cost vs how much it brings in?

Also, how many individuals use the Parks and Rec programs that charge a fee? Not how many "visits", but what percentage of the total population is actually willing to pay to use city recreational programs?

The results should tell us how much we are really paying; it should also tell us why privately owned recreation businesses that used to exist here have gone out of business.

beatrice 8 years, 7 months ago

RI, of course Rollerball would work against Iraq. They have no experience on wheels. Lawrence would fall under the larger "Food" corporation, due to the strength in farming, although corn crops used to produce ethanol might push it into "Energy." And since it is one of the big corporations funding it, obviously the rink in Lawrence would be privately funded.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 7 months ago

Godot, I have paid parks n rec many fees in the past. However, since KU kicked gymnastics out of Robinson, my money no longer goes to Parks n Rec. I wish they still had a program (for advanced gymnastics) because it was about half the price I'm paying now and the coaches were top notch. Funny that KU needed Robinson Gymnasium so badly for office space and yet two years later, it still sits void of any offices. I guess there is gymnastics in the highschools, but that leaves a lot of years in between.

A YMCA would be nice. We use Freestate's pool, a privately owned gymnastics facility, and a privately owned gym. We also use the raquetball court at the rec center. If we had an ice rink, we would only use it occassionally. Maybe 2-3 times a year. I do think that Lawrence could support an ice rink but it needs to be privately owned.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 7 months ago

I want to echo betti's comment about opening high school facilities to general use. Maintenance costs would skyrocket.

I don't know what sort of facility Lawrence needs; I'm just wondering if Lawrence "needs" more facilities. Doesn't this go back to yesterday's discussion? No more taxes! But build me another recreation facility. Is there really a dearth of facilities to use?

Oh, and just because I'm from Michigan and the Red Wings start the playoffs tonight, I vote for an ice rink.

Jace 8 years, 7 months ago

Whatever type/kind of facility it just needs to be "homeless friendly".

The rec center down by 15th and Vermont isn't.

Too many homeless hang out there....yet not enough things for them to do. And the shower facilities in that place are gross.

Jace 8 years, 7 months ago

Sorry, I meant "11th and Vermont".

mom_of_three 8 years, 7 months ago

It would be nice to have a facility where you could hold a basketball tournament or have indoor soccer games, gymnastics, etc. And if it was built in the vicinity of YSI, it would be nice to have everything together.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 7 months ago

I'm thinking of a really nice gym with a personal trainer preferably one from Sweden that speaks a little English but not too much, don't like the chit chat. I would also need a place for my massage after working up just a little glisten. Maybe a decafe tall Latte skinny for my drive home. Valet parking is just so necessary; I don't want any undesirables parking their Honda too close to my ride.

This town is great growing up all we needed was enough kids to play ball, we could share the gloves and the rich kid could bring the ball and bat. But Lawrence has a way of pointing out how down trodden I was. It's OK to be poor until you notice.

trinity 8 years, 7 months ago

great post, jackripper-wholeheartedly agree!

Lilfish338 8 years, 7 months ago

Of course everyone has 'wants' in life, but Lawrence government officials need to look at our 'needs'. Do we really need an ice rink? Would you rather go to a mutil million dollar Library or multi million dollar ice rink? Personally, give me a nice strawberry margarita and white cheese dip from El Mez, and i'll be happy!! :)!!

Jeanne Cunningham 8 years, 7 months ago

How about figuring out how to better use the facilities that already EXIST in EVERY neighborhood - school ground and gymnasiums!!! Taxpayers have ALREADY paid for those facilities and own the ground. If they need some expansion to allow more people to use them, do that!!! Much cheaper - way more logical than buying more land, building more buildings.

Only a real estate agent or contractor would be against this concept.

sgtwolverine 8 years, 7 months ago

chic, I'm pretty sure most school athletic directors would be against that, too. And the availability of the facilities would be patchwork at best. I'm not sure I'd want an open facility during school hours, and outside school hours there are already some scheduling headaches with practices and games. Athletic directors have enough to do as it is; don't make life harder for them by opening their facilities to constant general use.

1derer 8 years, 7 months ago

A state of the art fertility clinic.

Ceallach 8 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for the link, sgt. There certainly is an Athletic Director, right next to Jan Gentry, Assistant Principal. Hmmm, now why does that name ring a bell?

Kat Christian 8 years, 7 months ago

Ice/Roller Rink, Ice/Roller Rink, Ice/Roller Rink. Don't just limit it to ice rink but make it both. Get more use out of it. It's about time someone make this public.

beatrice 8 years, 7 months ago

4thgradeed: if you really think homeless centers are "play-time," might I suggest giving 5th grade a try. You might just learn something about humanity.

sunflower_sue 8 years, 7 months ago

4th grade, I think a privately owned ice rink would be self-sustaining. Let's (for arguements sake) compare Lawrence to St. Joe. (Och! Here I go again!) Both similar towns but I would give the nod of having "more money" to Lawrence. St. Joe has operated an ice rink for around 30 years. (I don't have the exact date it was opened.) The rink was privately funded but has held it's keep all these years. Hockey and figure skating are big draws and they also have public skating times. It's really not a bad idea, but I do not think the city should fund it. Someone with deep pockets should pony up.

sittinthefence 8 years, 7 months ago

I suggest that neighborhoods that want the things the rest of us can't afford pay for them through their neighborhood association fees. That way those of us who choose to live within our means aren't paying for their extras.

Sure it would raise housing costs in "those" neighborhoods but it would also lower them elsewhere.

JSDAD 8 years, 7 months ago

roundabouts with playgrounds in the center, instead of those silly plants

killjoy 8 years, 7 months ago

Turn South Park into a beer garden...(and put in an ice rink)

pelliott 8 years, 7 months ago

Up the downtown parking meter costs. This will encourage people to walk more.
block the runaway trucks barreling (illegally down Deleware street from 11th so kids have a chance to play in the park there, rather than only the heavy drinking adult ball players. Heavily Fine the adult ball players for drinking and littering, and for harassing the neighbors, get their names and address and post them. Charge the soccar teams for use of the fields and send the money to developers for economic development.

H_Lecter 8 years, 7 months ago

R.I. - "France" ..."clean" Surely you jest.

coneflower 8 years, 7 months ago

It would be nice if the downtown recreation facility at 11th & Vermont would be clean enough so that one could actually bear to use it. Ugh!

budwhysir 8 years, 7 months ago

We need a facility that would raise enough money to support ku's needs and also replace the turnpike tolls that everyone pays. Maybe a facility that would reduce our tax burden.

H_Lecter 8 years, 7 months ago

Rent glow-in-the dark vests, hats, and paintballs and turn downtown into the wild west after dark. Selling beer would be required as well. Great moneymaker. Rent the rooftops to spectators. Just to add a little more fun, we throw a couple of losing players off the bridge and into the river every night at midnight.

aceofspades 8 years, 7 months ago

recall the the game of putt putt golf KIDS LIKE that or gocarts an arcades where we hung out an had our fun back in the 80s or the roller ring an all the movie shows we hada big choise even a drag strip (once ) an not the open road
wonder why kids are haveing trouble they never LEAVE the walls of home to do any thing computers an XBOXS an things like that WOW LARRYVILLE the town of BARS an B/S

killjoy 8 years, 7 months ago

Lawn darts!!! Make Lawrence the Lawn Dart Capital of the world!

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