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Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 4:06 pm | Updated: 8:10 am, Thu Nov 1, 2018.

Enterprise Parks and Recreation Director Billy Powell was all smiles as he welcomed more than 300 people who attended a community forum to discuss plans for a new city recreation and wellness center for the City of Progress.

“We’re very excited about everybody coming out here tonight to give their input on what they would like to see in a recreation and wellness center,” Powell said. “We are listening.”

Powell is among the recreation center personnel, city leaders and representatives from the consulting firm RDG Planning and Design who hosted the interactive community forum at the Enterprise Civic Center Monday, Oct. 29.

The community forum was the first of two forums planned to obtain citizen input into what elements should be included in a state-of-the-art recreational facility. A second community input form is expected to be held in January or February 2019.

Interaction Information Gathering Stations that focused on trends, space/room types and preferred programs were covered with red, blue or green sticky-dots by the end of the evening, indicating the participants’ preferences.

“This forum is going to play a major role in the decision-making process as the city moves forward with this great multi-million-dollar project,” Powell said. “The process is still in the study phase.”

Architects from the Montgomery-based firm of Seay, Seay and Litchfield Architects and Iowa-based RDG Planning and Design Company were commissioned by the city council in July to conduct a conceptual design plan that includes a needs analysis, feasibility study, possible location, budget costs to build a new recreation and aquatic facility, estimated operation costs and potential revenue.

Powell and a planning committee, comprised of Lorenzo Harrison, Frank Zerbinos, Jason Wright and Tammy Doerer, had interviewed three firms prior to making the recommendation to the city council.

At a previous work session, Powell said that Seay, Seay and Litchfield and RDG Planning and Design Company are the partnership in charge of the wellness center that is currently being built at Troy University in Troy.

The Troy University Student Fitness Center includes a full-size basketball court, strength training areas, exercise and aerobics rooms, an elevated running track and an outdoor pool. The fitness center construction began in January 2018 and is expected to be open in the fall of 2019.

The team also were commissioned by the city of Valley to design and build a community recreation center that included an eight-lane indoor competition swimming pool, two racquetball courts, strength training and cardio rooms, two running tracks, locker rooms and meeting/conference rooms.

“Because of the popularity of the community recreation center, Valley reached out to us again in 2014 to create an addition onto the existing center,” the Seay, Seay and Litchfield project management lead explained to those attending the July council work session.

The estimated time to complete a new recreation center for Enterprise, from conceptual design to a grand opening ribbon cutting is about two years. The initial study is expected to be completed shortly after the second community forum.

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