WILMINGTON — A public-private partnership involving a group of local citizens has led to the formation of a steering committee to explore the possibility of a new recreation and wellness facility for Clinton County.
The steering committee began meeting earlier this year and sent out a request for proposals to a number of regional and national consulting firms to lead the development of a feasibility study. Ultimately, the committee chose PROS Consulting, based in Indianapolis.
PROS Consulting is a well-known firm in the industry that has worked with a number of communities over the years ranging from large metropolitan areas and county park districts to smaller communities and towns, stated a media release from the steering committee.
After a kickoff meeting this spring, the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) agreed to assist with the development of the feasibility study.
“Over the last several years, the discussion of a rec center, in various forms, has been brought up by numerous individuals and groups throughout the county. Our commission felt the need to assist with the development of this discussion and the exploration of what would be feasible for our county,” said CCRPC Executive Director Taylor Stuckert.
So far, the committee has conducted a number of focus group meetings, meeting with more than 100 county residents ranging from high school students to senior citizens, and including a group of several local employers.
Each municipality, township, and school district, along with various business and non-profit leaders, were invited to participate in these focus groups.
In addition to an online survey, some smaller meetings will continue to occur over the next few weeks.
“The feasibility study is such an important first step in the process of determining the need for this type of facility,” said Leon Younger, president of PROS Consulting,
“Hearing from the residents in the community about where they feel the needs are currently being met, where services and spaces are needed, and programming that the community desires is crucial to the potential development of the center,” he said.
Younger went on to say that, “The center should appeal to multiple generations and be tailored to your individual county’s needs and wants, and this feasibility study is a great tool to determine those goals. As we meet with county residents, we have heard common themes — a number of citizens have expressed interest in gymnasium space, community meeting space, multipurpose spaces for tutoring/art/cooking classes, an indoor swimming pool, indoor play area, an indoor track and programming for seniors.”
The committee is currently conducting a survey to gain additional input from citizens. The survey can be found on the steering committee’s website: www.clintoncountyrec.com .
According to the committee’s website, input from residents is very important and all interested residents are encouraged to fill out the online survey.
Additional information will continue to be posted on the committee’s website as the study moves forward.