Ypsilanti mayor: Survey says public supports proposed Eastside Recreation Center on Water Street site
Courtesy of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department
“The basic questions that were being asked for the study in the first place: Is Water Street the best location for it? How big should it be? What type of people would be attracted to it? The study addressed all of those things,” Ypsilanti Mayor Paul Schreiber said in an interview with AnnArbor.com.
Schreiber declined to discuss the details of the survey results after listening to a presentation of the draft report Tuesday in Ypsilanti.
The private briefing for staff and board members from the Ann Arbor YMCA, several Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department staff and Ypsilanti city officials was held in the SPARK East offices. The YMCA’s private consultant, FourSquare Research from Atlanta, Ga., presented a draft report of the survey results to stakeholders.
County Parks and Recreation paid for half of the study, said Bob Tetens, department director. Tetens said the results of the survey will be presented at a public meeting - likely before the Parks Commission - at a later date.
The consultant surveyed local households on the east side of Washtenaw County and generated a population profile to help stakeholders understand interest in the proposed recreation center.
“I think the interest is high in the rec center; I think it continues to be high and I don’t think this market study has done anything to indicate anything otherwise,” Schreiber said. “To me, I think we’re still moving ahead Nothing’s been derailed; let’s put it that way.”
Tetens said the Washtenaw County Parks Commission received the preliminary results from the marketing study at its June 11 meeting, which indicated most people supported the location of the project.
“All indicators were favorable,” Tetens said.
In April, Schreiber said he had yet to decide what site would best suit the proposed recreation center.
On Tuesday, Schreiber spoke more definitively about his opinion:
“The Eastside Recreation Center - having it on the Water Street property - is going to be good for the city and also for the east side of the county.”
Schreiber said the survey will help city and county leaders to have baseline data to present to taxpayers and potential investors.
It also helps officials answer a critical question of “How do you maximize the number of memberships and the need?” Schreiber said.
The proposed project is jointly being pursued by the YMCA, the city of Ypsilanti and the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department.
The parks department is considering about eight to 10 acres on the northwest corner of the city’s 38-acre Water Street property off of Michigan Avenue. The parks department is planning on leasing the property from the city and the YMCA is planning to staff the facility.
Similar to the Meri Lou Murray Recreation Center that the county opened in 1991, the proposed Eastside Recreation Center would be equipped with a swimming pool, various aquatics facilities, locker rooms, a gym, a fitness facility and other amenities.