A Gift to the Community
The City of Coldwater recently completed a $15.1 million project to enhance their recreational facilities. The development was made possible due to a $14 million donation by Dr. Robert W. Browne and his wife, Lynn. The project included the construction of an aquatic center and a major expansion to their existing Recreation Center.
Aquatic Center – Benefiting both the community and the Coldwater Community Schools, this state-of-the-art facility is comprised of an eight-lane competitive pool, separate warm water therapy pool, spectator seating, locker rooms and community rooms. The facility was also designed with the latest in energy-saving technology.
Recreation Center – The existing recreation center more than doubled in size. It now includes four courts, two of which are multi-purpose courts that will be usable for basketball, volleyball, tennis, soccer, floor hockey, and other various activities. The facility also includes an indoor walking track, locker rooms and community rooms.
Replicability:This project is not easily replicable. Yes, communities have the ability to replicate this project entirely, but the facilities are not cheap to build. The City of Coldwater was fortunate enough to receive a generous donation that made the funding of the project possible. What can be imitated in a less substantial fashion is the act of taking an idea, and turning it into something beneficial for the community. The facilities will create new activities, classes and programs. Over the years these attributes will evolve, create change and remain a positive asset for all. In Coldwater, the project itself will not be replicated, but the facilities themselves will continue as a catalyst for a higher standard of living.
Creativity and Originality:The project started with an idea, and in a little over a year’s time it became a reality. Collaboration from area residents, city officials, schools, architects, construction companies and many other individuals were involved in the process of these new additions. A partnership with the city and schools in regard to the operation of the aquatic center was formed, allowing for easier access for students. The city will also contribute a considerable amount of money each year to keep costs as low as possible. The originality remains mostly local as amenities were catered to what was needed in the surrounding area. In relation to the size of the City of Coldwater, not many other comparable communities have the ability to offer facilities such as an aquatic center and four-court recreation center. Future economic development efforts will recognize that this community truly believes in the importance of quality of life.
Community Impact:Both recreational facilities have been exceptionally well received by the community. New opportunities have opened up for both children and adults alike. Previously, the City of Coldwater only had an outdoor pool. This meant no swimming in the winter and no swim team for the surrounding schools. Today, there is already a swim team formed with over 50 members, residents were able to swim with freezing temperatures outside, recovering patients have benefited from the physical therapy pool, children have held birthday parties, and much more. The existing recreation center had only two basketball/volleyball courts. Now, with the addition of two multi-purpose courts, area residents have the opportunity to participate in activities/sports year-round that they never have been able to before: tennis, floor hockey, soccer, and batting cages. Also, the addition of the walking/running track and community rooms has extended the limits of health and wellness activities such as yoga, pilates, crossfit, cardio circuit,and many other beneficial programs.
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