Redmond citizens got their first look Thursday at the new plans for a voter-approved recreation center which now has to be scaled back. The Redmond Area Park Recreation District (RAPRD) said the effects of inflation left it no choice but to change its original plans.
“Definitely, like, hard to hear, but it makes sense,” said Kirsten Burch of Redmond. “Inflation was crazy last year, too, so it makes sense. But I hope to see that all the main amenities and recreation opportunities are still there that the community voiced during those initial meetings.”
Burch and several other Redmond residents attended a RAPRD public meeting to discover precisely what scaled back means.
“We live just a couple of minutes walking distance away,” Burch said. “So I’m super excited to see what it’s all about.”
“Kind of waiting to see when their construction starts and what they’re going to do about the streets and stuff since we live in the neighborhood,” said Don Dessart of Redmond.
Voters passed the $49 million bond measure in November 2022. But with the effects of inflation, designers told the RAPRD to factor in a 36% cost increase.
“We’ve been changing the facility with an eye to keep the fundamental pieces that we heard the community wanted,” said Keith Hayes, the architect on the project. “So we still have an eight-lane pool. We still have a great, warm water aquatics facility and a leisure pool. We still have a great gym.”
Those changes include moving from a two-story building to a ground-level one. The leisure pool is scaled down by 1,200 square feet and the lounge and game areas, bouldering walls and outdoor plaza space are also eliminated.
“It’s still going to be a great project,” said Hayes. “All the pieces are going to be there. It’s going to be a great place to recreate. And we think it’s going to look great and will show what the exterior renderings look like as those are developing. And we hope it’s a building that represents Redmond and people will be proud of.”
Construction is expected to begin in June with a ground opening in the winter of 2025.
The operation levy in 2022 did not pass and voters can expect to see another attempt for that on the ballot as early as next fall. The RAPRD is also hoping private donations can further offset costs.